When a New York citizen calls 911 and is told that help is on the way, they expect the help to arrive promptly and in time to help the injured or ill person. Without rapid response and quick treatment, a person injury may end in death or have serious effects on the health of the person. With the new modernization of the state’s 911 procedures, many citizens have complained of longer than normal wait times after reporting an emergency that requires immediate attention.
Because she felt the woman did not have a special relationship with the city, a judge recently tossed out a family’s wrongful death lawsuit after she died of a heart attack while awaiting help from an ambulance. The judge claimed that because the woman did not call 911 herself, and the call was not made by an immediate family member that the city did not have a responsibility to her.
The call was made by the woman’s boyfriend after she fell twice in the snow and told him she thought she was having a heart attack. Her family claims he did not take her to the hospital because he thought help was on the way, although the ambulance did not arrive until two hours after the original phone call.
It may have been possible to treat the woman’s injuries had the boyfriend known he needed to get her to the hospital.Citizens often pay taxes to fund 911 programs, and it may be determined by another court that the city is responsible for the woman’s death and the city owes her family money.
Source: Daily News, “Wrongful death lawsuit by family of woman who died waiting for ambulance thrown out because she did not make 911 call herself,” Barbara Ross, September 6, 2013