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St. Louis dispatcher sued over fatal 911 call

The lawsuit alleges the dispatcher sent responders to the wrong address, which led to a double-murder

By EMS1 Staff

ST. LOUIS — A lawsuit against the city of St. Louis continues after a dispatcher sent responders to the wrong address, resulting in the murder of two people.

Tony Jordan Jr. was fatally shot in his apartment in 2014; his friend, Jessica Thompson, was also killed after calling 911, reported the Riverfront Times. The city argues that since Jordan did not place the 911 call, the city did not owe him protection and should be held liable in his death.

"[T]he undisputed facts show that neither the city nor [the dispatcher] proximately caused the murder of the decedents, and defendants did not owe a duty to Jordan because the murder of a third party was unforeseeable based on the facts known to [the dispatcher] at the time of the call,” the city argues.

Dispatcher Patricia Sticken, a 26-year veteran, answered Thompson’s 911 call, but she had little experience with call evaluation. Sticken testified that she did not know how to use the replay button on a call.

Albert Watkins, the attorney for Jordan and Thompson’s families, alleges that Sticken’s lack of familiarity with policies and equipment led to error. Furthermore, when police arrived to the wrong address, the family there said someone may have called 911; officials canvassed the area and then left.

Sticken was eventually charged with neglect of duty by the city and was allowed to retire. However, she is now included in the lawsuit filed by the families of Thompson and Jordan; the city, police department and board of police commissioners have also been named.