Improper dispatch lawsuit dismissed
WILLIAMSPORT - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Rush Township man who said an improperly dispatched 911 call could have played a role in his wife's death.
In a two-page document filed Thursday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann adopted the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick, who issued a Jan. 22 report stating that John Lamey failed to state a plausible claim that due process rights afforded to his wife, Marie Lamey, were violated.
While John Lamey's attorney had made a filing in response to Mehalchick's ruling saying the judge had erred, Brann's ruling now reinforces the court's stance. In fact, he directed the clerk of the court to close the case file.
Marie Lamey was 50 years old when she lost consciousness at her home at 729 Elysburg Road Feb. 14, 2011. An emergency call was routed to Montour County 911 rather than Northumberland County, and Danville EMS was called to the scene from more than eight miles away, arriving within 14 minutes. Elysburg EMS was dispatched several minutes later, and the crew arrived within four minutes. The Elysburg unit is 1.6 miles from the Lamey residence.
Marie Lamey was treated on scene and transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where she later died.
The emergency call was rerouted to Montour County because of an issue with Northumberland County's recently installed 911 computer-aided dispatch system. Her husband contends proper routing of the call to Northumberland County may have saved his wife's life.
John Lamey filed suit Feb. 13, 2013, seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees in excess of $150,000 for negligence.
Named as defendants were Northumberland County, Rush Township and various public officials serving with the county at the time.