Little Rock Fire Facing Suit Over Delayed Dispatch

A tragic accident last January that claimed the life of a woman and severely injured her 5 year old son has led to a lawsuit against the city of Little Rock and its fire department.

Jinglei Yang died and Le Yang remains in a coma following an accident that occurred on January 14, 2013. Jinglei’s car allegedly hit a patch of ice and ended up in a pond. According to the complaint errors made by a dispatcher led to it taking 43 minutes for help to arrive on scene.

The complaint, brought on behalf of Le by his father DangYong Yang, accuses the city of negligence and deliberate indifference (denial of due process under 42 USC 1983) in hiring a dispatcher who had a record of competency problems in a previous dispatching job. The complaint also alleges operational negligence and deliberate indifference by responders, and seeks to have the state immunity laws declared unconstitutional.

Here is a copy of the 35 page, 173 paragraph complaint. Yang v Little Rock

The suit was filed in Arkansas Circuit Court for Pulaski County.  No word on whether a wrongful death suit on behalf of Jinglei will also be filed.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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