$17M settlement awarded in delayed 911 response case

Dispatcher Candance Middleton was ordered to pay $17 million for mishandling a 911 call that resulted in the death of a 7-year-old boy

By EMS1 Staff

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The family of a 7-year-old boy was awarded $17 million after delayed 911 response led to his death.

KATV.com reported that Jinglei Yi was driving her son, Le Yang, who was 5 years old at the time, to preschool and hit a patch of black ice in 2013. Her vehicle left the roadway and landed in a nearby pond. The boy's mother called 911 and dispatcher Candance Middleton said that help was coming.

Middleton dispatched EMS, but did not dispatch police or a fire department water rescue team. Fifty-five minutes after the initial 911 call, the boy was pulled from the submerged vehicle. The boy survived for two years before dying of his drowning-related injuries; his mother died that morning.

The judgement amount against Middleton includes the boy's conscious pain and suffering prior to his death, his medical expenses, visible results of his injuries sustained prior to his death, his loss of life and the mental anguish suffered and to be suffered by his father.

The city of Little Rock was dismissed from Yang's lawsuit based on immunity; an appeal is planned.

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