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Salt Lake City Woman Sues 911 Dispatch Company

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Date05 Nov 2019
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Salt Lake City Woman Sues 911 Dispatch Company

Breann Lasley has filed a lawsuit against the Utah emergency dispatch company, Priority Dispatch Corp. after they failed to send police to her home during an invasion.

On Sept. 23, 2015, Breann and her sister Kayli Lasley were attacked and stabbed by a man who’d entered their home through a window around midnight.

Breann fought back against the man, who was later identified as Robert Berger, as her sister slept downstairs. When Kayi heard her sister’s screams, she ran upstairs.

The two sisters said that they struggled against Berger for 15 minutes, but managed to call 911. Several neighbors also called for help.

During the struggle, Berger stabbed Breann in the stomach and legs.

According to court papers, Breann and Kayli made four calls to 911 that night.

“Instead of dispatching the calls and sending the police, the 911 dispatchers — using defendant Priority Dispatch Corp.’s rigid software dispatch system known as Police ProQA — were required to interrogate Bre[ann] and her sister by asking a series of scripted prompts and pre-determined questions before police could be dispatched,” court documents said.

Fortunately, Kayli was able to eventually get out of the house and alert a police officer outside.

A Salt Lake City police officer who was attending to another house on the street ran to help. He demanded for Berger to drop the knife before shooting and killing him.

“The additional trauma of not being able to trust a 911 call in that type of situation has been life-altering,” Breann said. “It’s completely changed my life. It’s added…so much trauma and difficulty to the entire situation. It’s been a fight in and of itself that I’ve been fighting for years.”

Ron McDaniel, president of Priority Dispatch, said that the issue was authorities’ inability to locate victims.

“This is a national problem,” McDaniel said. “In 911, we don’t know where you are on literally 70 to 80 percent of the calls that happen. That’s the breakdown in this case. It’s tragic. We feel for it but we do need to make sure that the focus is on the right part here, which is the inability to find the patient and/or the victim to help give them the help that they needed.”

 

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