4 Year Old Girl’s Death May Have Been Caused By Dispatcher Cell Phone Use

A four-minute delay in an ambulance being dispatched to the scene of an accident involving a four-year old girl may have cost the little girl her life. This is according to a report issued by the New York City Department of Investigation on December 19, 2013. This is not the first tragic consequence of the NYC Emergency Dispatch Center’s slow response to an emergency call. However this one is particularly egregious as it could have been avoided if the Emergency Service operator had been doing her job instead of using her cell phone. Equally bad is that an EMS lieutenant seated next to the operator failed to notice the call on the computer screen because he “was doing paper work”. Hiring a knowledgeable Brooklyn personal injury attorney will not only help you through the legal steps but will also give you peace of mind knowing you are in experienced hands.

The DOI found that on June 4, 2013, a teen driver with no license was attempting to elude police in an SUV. At the intersection of 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the teen struck the girl and her grandmother. A request for an ambulance dispatch was made immediately, but it took the Manhattan EMS Medical Dispatch Center four minutes to respond. It then took the ambulance another four minutes to reach the scene. The little girl succumbed to her injuries shortly after being transported to St. Luke’s Hospital.

Investigators determined that both a 911 dispatcher and the dispatcher’s supervisor failed to notice a prominently displayed report of the traffic accident involving the young girl for a period of four minutes. Earlier claims of a “computer glitch” were rebuffed.

DOI investigators reported that the dispatcher initially denied that the report ever came into the NYC Emergency Dispatch Center. However, investigators looked into reports that the dispatcher had been using her personal cell phone as the call came in. She denied using her cell phone during those critical minutes. However, investigators checked cell phone records to determine that she had used the phone five times just before the request for an ambulance came in.

An EMS lieutenant, who was seated next to the dispatcher, stated that he was “busy with paperwork” when the call came in. It was only when a relief dispatcher logged on and noticed the call that an ambulance was dispatched. The incoming call was visible on the computer screen for four minutes.

The distraught mother of the deceased four-year old wants criminal charges to be filed. She said to reporters, “It breaks my heart to know that the advanced life support that she needed for her passageways to breathe in that moment was delayed four and a half minutes because someone didn’t do their job.” The family says it intends to sue the city for $40 million.

Contact The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum

A personal injury and wrongful death attorney is often called on in such tragic cases when negligence is potentially involved. In this case, the facts and the report compiled by the DOI would be carefully reviewed by such an attorney. It is his job to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding the case and determine if negligence was responsible for his client’s injuries or death. He is then responsible for helping the injured person or their family to obtain justice and full and fair financial compensation.

In cases that you or someone you know have been injured due to a municipality’s, business or other person’s negligence, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum at (718) 237-5586 for a free case evaluation. As a leading Brooklyn and Bronx personal injury attorney, Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is dedicated to fighting for the victim’s rights to ensure a maximum verdict or settlement that will allow the victim or their family to live as high a quality of life as possible after the accident. While Mr. Kestenbaum knows that no amount of money can truly compensate for an injured person’s pain or the loss of a loved one, it can help to get their life back on track. Mr. Kestenbaum is only paid when he collects money for his clients. There is no personal injury case too complex for Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum and he will fight hard for you. The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is located at 26 Court Street, Suite 1806 right across from the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

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