Boston, Holt & Durham, PLLC

Lack of access to 911 results in wrongful death case

The sudden and violent death of a parent is a horrific experience for any child to witness in Tennessee. When the child attempts to seek help and is unable to get it, the further damage done to the child could be devastating. These are some of the details in a recent wrongful death case.

A woman was a guest, with her children, at a hotel. The woman's estranged husband found her at the hotel and stabbed her multiple times. The couple's oldest daughter, who was then 9, attempted three times to dial 911. She was unable to reach 911 as she was not aware that she needed to first dial 9 to get an outside line. She then tried to flag down one of the hotel employees, but none of them spoke English and they did not alert the hotel manager to the situation.

The woman died as a result of her injuries. During the course of the wrongful death proceedings, it was argued that the hotel should have emergency preparedness measures in place and that all hotel staff should be aware of what the policies are. It was stated that had the woman received prompt medical attention, she may have had a good chance of surviving the attack. While no one argued that the hotel should have been able to prevent the attack, the lack of response to the emergency situation was seen as a contributing factor in the woman's death. The jury found in favor of the woman's family and awarded them $41.55 million.

When a family member dies suddenly and violently, the surviving family and loved ones are likely to be overcome with grief and shock. The family will also desire answers as to why and how the event happened. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tennessee may be helpful in a family's quest to find answers. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the details and advise the family on pursuing a wrongful death case that may provide compensation for medical costs, final costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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