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Seattle Agrees to Pay Nearly $2M Following Wrongful Death at Address Excluded from 911 List

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Seattle to Pay $1.86M Following Wrongful Death Due to 911 Blacklist Error

The city of Seattle has reached a settlement to pay $1.86 million to the family of William Yurek, who tragically died of a heart attack after a caution note attached to his address delayed the response of emergency medics. Yurek's son had called 911, but when the Seattle Fire Department medics arrived, they initially waited outside for law enforcement before entering the premises. The family claimed that Yurek was wrongly included on a blacklist of individuals known to be hostile towards police and fire crews. The previous tenant of the unit had been on the outdated list, leading to the erroneous inclusion of Yurek.

Delayed Response and Tragic Outcome

As Yurek's condition worsened, his son made another 911 call, but despite the medics already being present, they were instructed to wait for a law enforcement escort. Eventually, the medics decided to enter the home without police assistance, but unfortunately, their efforts were in vain as Yurek passed away.

Modified Guidelines and Lessons Learned

Following the incident, Seattle has made modifications to its operating guidelines regarding caution notes. These notes now expire after 365 days or undergo review and renewal. Additionally, the need for police assistance due to alleged violent or threatening behavior will be verified after every alarm dispatched to an address.
Address-Based Risks and Accountability
The case highlights the potential risks faced by renters and those who frequently change residences when relying solely on address-based information. The settlement reflects the family's desire for the city to take responsibility for the tragic outcome. In conclusion, the settlement reached by Seattle acknowledges the wrongful death of William Yurek and the errors in the 911 dispatch system. It serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate information and swift emergency response to prevent such tragic incidents in the future.

Implications of the Seattle 911 Blacklist Error on New Businesses

The $1.86 million settlement paid by the city of Seattle following the tragic death of William Yurek due to a 911 blacklist error serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks and liabilities businesses can face due to inaccurate data. For new businesses, particularly those in the tech and data management sectors, this case underscores the importance of maintaining accurate, up-to-date information.

Importance of Accurate Data Management

The wrongful inclusion of Yurek on a blacklist due to outdated address information highlights the critical role of accurate data management in business operations. New businesses that deal with sensitive, personal, or life-impacting data must implement robust data management systems to prevent such tragic errors.

Legal and Financial Implications

The financial impact of the settlement on the city of Seattle also underscores the potential legal and financial implications of data errors. New businesses must be aware of these potential risks and ensure they have adequate legal and financial safeguards in place.
Addressing Address-Based Risks
The case also highlights the potential risks associated with relying solely on address-based information, particularly for renters and frequent movers. Businesses that use address-based data must consider these risks and develop strategies to ensure the accuracy and relevance of their data. In conclusion, the Seattle 911 blacklist error case offers valuable lessons for new businesses about the importance of accurate data management, the potential legal and financial implications of data errors, and the need to address address-based risks.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/seattle-to-pay-nearly-2m-after-man-dies-of-a-heart-attack-at-address-wrongly-on-911-blacklist
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