A botched 911 call and the alleged failure by Anne Arundel County police to immediately help an unconscious woman at the scene of a medical emergency are two of the reasons cited in the Maryland wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Asha Clark. The 22-year-old mother of five died last summer.
According to the Anne Arundel County wrongful death complaint, on June 25, 2009, Clark’s boyfriend Maurice Brown called 911 because she was having a seizure. He says that he was placed on hold for three minutes. Clark fell unconscious. Police eventually arrived at the apartment building, but rather than tending to her immediately they first stopped to arrest someone in the hallway for allegedly dealing drugs.
Errors or negligence on the part of a 911 operator, paramedics, police officers, or fire fighters that arrive at the scene of a medical emergency can prove catastrophic. A 911 dispatcher neglecting to send emergency help right away or Maryland paramedic malpractice are just some reasons the entity that they work for might be sued for Maryland personal injury or wrongful death.
It was just in 2006 that the family of Yvette Beakes settled its Maryland wrongful death case with Anne Arundel County. The 26-year-old woman was kidnapped and murdered by the occupants of the van that rear-ended her vehicle on August 8, 2001. Someone called 911 but because of human error and a computer software mistake, the data was linked to an earlier 911 hang-up call. As a result, police were never notified about the attack and no one went searching for her.
Beakes’ body was found in Baltimore the next day. The Glen Burnie wrongful death complaint contends that if police had gone looking for her, they may have found her before she was killed.
Lawsuit blames 911 for death of woman, HometownGlenBurnie, July 31, 2010
Murder victim’s family sues county Suit claims 911 center, BNET, June 22, 2005
Related Web Resources:
Summary of State Wrongful Death and Intestacy Statutes, Justice.gov (PDF)