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Family of late KCFD paramedic wins lawsuit against city, will receive $100K settlement

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 16:52:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of a former paramedic with the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department won a lawsuit filed against the department and the city.

Giovanna Vittori filed the lawsuit in February 2018 alleging discrimination and retaliation. She died two months after, but the lawsuit was allowed to proceed.

According to the lawsuit, Vittori had worked for KCFD as a paramedic and an accountant clerk.

She witnessed an incident on July 31, 2014, which caused her to experience post traumatic stress disorder.

Due to the lingering PTSD, Vittori began working as an accountant clerk for the city's ambulance services.

The lawsuit also names Jane Kern, who was her supervisor at the time.

Vittori alleges that Kern would constantly yell at her and was demeaning to other coworkers.

The lawsuit also alleges that Vittori felt threatened every day while working under Kern.

In one instance, Vittori allegedly found out that Kern told her coworkers about her PTSD diagnosis.

As a result, Vittori's coworkers made fun of her and one coworker allegedly said, “wouldn’t it be funny if we can startle Giovanna.”

Her coworkers even suggested turning on radios to trigger Vittori, according to the lawsuit.

Vitorri said that the due the stress caused by the work environment, she "had a major setback and suicidal thoughts" in 2016.

She was hospitalized at a psychiatric facility, where a division chief visited her and she requested a different supervisor.

Although Vitorri was given another supervisor, Kern still attempted to supervise her and nothing changed.

The lawsuit outlines several other instances during her time as accountant clerk until February 2017 when Vitorri felt uncomfortable working there.

On Monday, four years after the lawsuit was filed, a jury sided with Vittori and her family was awarded the $100,000 settlement.

A spokesperson for KCFD would not comment on the matter.

KSHB 41 also reached out to KCMO for comment and this story be will be updated if a response is received.