9-1-1 Lawsuit After Fire Death Dismissed

In May 2014 a fire broke out at 76 Main Street in Conyngham Township in Pennsylvania when two children were playing with a lighter. Michelle Dzoch was trapped inside the burning home when her daughter dialed 9-1-1 to report the fire. Originally Luzerne County 9-1-1 dispatched fire fighters to 76 Main Street in Conyngham Borough, an address that does not exist. The real fire was about 10 miles north. It took dispatchers 8 minutes and multiple phone calls to correct the error and dispatch the correct fire department.

The family of Dzoch sued the county, saying that the delay directly resulted in her death and that the county was responsible because of her reliance on 9-1-1 for assistance.

A federal judge has dismissed the law suit saying that there is no constitutional right to emergency services. The judge went on to say that the dispatcher was working off of information available to her from the caller.

Following the incident the dispatcher resigned her position.

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