I-TEAM: Uncovering another death after another 911 mix-up

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WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered yet another mix-up on a local 911 call, and another person died.

This, after we’ve exposed two other people dying after problems with 911 calls. The third case comes to light in a lawsuit filed in Cuyahoga County Court.

The incident happened in 2017, and the case is moving through court. Betty Morrison, 71, died after waiting for help from a rescue squad in Warrensville Heights.

She called 911 to report an asthma attack.

A recording shows a dispatcher responds with, “We’ll be sending a squad.”

But, the dispatch tapes show rescuers first went to the wrong address. They lost precious time before they got to Morrison.

In fact, on the tapes you hear the emergency crew ask, “Can we get an address check, please?”

Lawyers for the family filed the 911 call and radio tapes with the court. They argue, it took an ambulance almost 11 minutes to get to the call instead of just a few minutes.

And, in a report filed by the rescue crew, we noticed for “dispatch factors” it says “location (inability to obtain).”

Meantime, we recently showed you how confusion over an address led to a delay in response to a medical emergency for a retired Brooklyn Heights police officer. He died.

And, last year, a Parma man died after his family called 911 for a medical emergency, but no one answered in the Cuyahoga County dispatch center. In that case, the ounty 911 center was out of service due to an equipment malfunction.

In the Warrensville Heights. case, lawyers for the family of the woman who died say the mishandling of the 911 call can be blamed for her death. Attorneys for Sonkin and Koberna wrote in court papers of what they see as “overwhelming evidence establishing bad faith … and reckless misconduct during Betty’s 911 call.”

Lawyers for the city employees had no comment.

While the court may have to decide what went wrong and how and what impact it had, the lawsuit does not appear to be heading to trial anytime soon.

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