The surviving family of 11-year-old Ashley Flores, who died from an asthma attack the day before Christmas, has filed a wrongful death claim against LA Sheriff Jim McDonnell and Los Angeles County after multiple 911 calls for help were mistakenly misrouted, reports NBC Los Angeles.
On December 24, 2017, the young girl was having trouble breathing around midday. Her 16-year-old sister made numerous calls to 911 asking for help. According to the claim, those calls were put on hold and then transferred to an empty fire hall and never answered. Other members of the Flores family also called, and after five attempts, they finally were able to reach a fire dispatcher. The family asserts this caused a delay of at least 15 minutes when it came to reaching paramedics, and this ultimately played a pivotal role in the young girl’s death. A doctor at nearby St. Francis Medical Center reportedly told the Flores family that Ashley may have survived if she had gotten help faster.
Allegedly, the deputy sheriff on the 911 system at the time was not trained well enough to do that job and had been told to forward those calls to the fire hall instead of the proper procedure, which is to transfer them to a fire dispatcher, who would then locate and contact the closest ambulance possible to respond to the address.
The spokesperson for the sheriff’s office declined to comment when contacted by local news outlets about the filing because of the pending litigation, but they did refer to a statement they had issued previously. In that statement, the office extended its condolences to the Flores family and said that an investigation has been opened into the incident to determine what happened.
According to a representative of the Flores family, Century Station’s desk operations, which handle incoming calls from 911 and handled the calls from the family that day, have been failing internal inspections for the past three years. The rep also said the sheriff’s department is not being transparent and has yet to turn over any documents to the Flores family or their legal representation. Another representative for the family also questioned whether they would have received help faster if they lived in a more affluent area, such as Beverly Hills or West Los Angeles.
The member of the Flores family, including her 16-year-old sister, said they are filming the claim to prevent other tragedies like this and to get a better explanation of what happened in Ashley’s case. Dulce Flores, who watched her sister fight for her life as her 911 calls went nowhere, said that she does not want anyone else to go through what happened to her family.
When a person or entity fails to live up to basic obligations or behaves negligently and someone dies as a result, there should be consequences. If you’ve lost someone you care about because of the harmful actions or negligence of another person or organization, contact an attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO trusts, about your case today.
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