An absolute tragedy developed here in Ohio recently. A teenager reaching for his tennis gear ended up getting crushed to death when the third-row seat tipped over and pinned him. This is bad enough, and could spawn a product liability claim, but the situation got worse when he attempted to get help.
The family may not only be questioning why the seat failed, but also why the 911 system failed their son. The teenager made two calls to 911 asking for help. Reportedly, the first call was difficult to understand and police could not find the minivan. For approximately 11 minutes, police attempted to locate him, but to no avail.
Then, the teen managed to make a second 911 call while police were in the area. Tapes indicate that he was able to provide additional information regarding his whereabouts, but for some reason, the dispatcher failed to relay that information to officers. Eventually, they gave up and moved on to other duties.
By the time the boy’s father found him at around 9 p.m., he had died. The dispatcher was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The city of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are conducting investigations into their parts in this tragedy.
Honda claims that the minivan the victim was in was not subject to a recall, but that does not mean that the family may not have a product liability claim against the automaker. In addition, the city and the county may also face civil liability in connection with this travesty. Hopefully, no other Ohio families ever have to go through something like this, but if it does happen, they too may pursue restitution through the filing of civil claims.
Source: cincinnati.com, “Ohio teen died in minivan: What we know about Kyle Plush’s death“, Sarah Brookbank and Sharon Coolidge, April 13, 2018