Ex-dispatcher to pay $17.6M in emergency response lawsuit
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has ordered a former Little Rock 911 dispatcher to pay more than $17 million in a lawsuit related to the deaths of a child and his mother.
The lawsuit filed by Dayong Yang says that his wife, Jinglei Yi, was with their son on Jan. 14, 2013, when an ice patch sent their vehicle careening into a retaining pond in Little Rock. It accuses Candace Middleton of failing to manually enter Yi’s 911 call into the computer system. Rescue units weren’t dispatched until nearly 30 minutes after the call was received.
Yi died the day of the crash, and her son died two years later at the age of 7 from drowning-related injuries.
Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox found Middleton liable for damages, including suffering and loss of life. Middleton didn’t respond to the lawsuit or enroll an attorney.
The city was dismissed from the lawsuit due to immunity. Yang plans to appeal their dismissal.
This story has been corrected to show that the deaths of Jinglei Yi and her son occurred in separate years.