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Lawsuit Claims LA Dispatchers Botched 911 Calls, Leading To Death Of 11-Year-Old Girl

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The family of an 11-year-old Lynwood girl, who died following an asthma attack on Christmas Eve last year, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Los Angeles County claiming that emergency dispatchers botched multiple 911 calls, severely delaying the response time of paramedics.
An undated photo of Ashley Flores. (GoFundMe/Flores Family)
On Dec. 24, 2017, the family of Ashley Flores called 911 about five times after Ashley began having trouble breathing.
Ashley’s 16-year-old sister, Dulce, said she was put on hold and then called a second and a third time. In another call, Flores’ aunt Norma can be heard pleading for an ambulance.
“I called once, that should have been enough,” Dulce told CBS2 back in April.
Ashley’s other aunt, Maggie, says she arrived at the house about 15 minutes after Ashley stopped breathing and also placed a call to 911.
“I saw her just laying there, her lips were purple, her feet were purple,” Maggie said. “My neighbor was giving her CPR. I think I was the fourth call.”
When Norma finally got through and reached an L.A. Country fire dispatcher, it was too late.
“It was a terrible mistake,” Ashley’s sister Jessica said. “The doctor said it would be 10 minutes earlier, we would have had Ashley here with us.”
The claim alleges “totally inadequate training and gross negligence by Los Angeles County and Sheriff McDonnell who are responsible for the training,” according to a news release Monday from the attorneys representing the Flores family. The family is seeking compensatory damages.
The L.A. County Fire Department admitted that the 911 calls from Ashley’s family were mistakenly transferred to a phone in a nearby fire station, but the paramedics there happened to be out on another call. The fire house was empty, so there was no one to answer the phone.
“What made that dispatcher think that calling a local fire station is the right thing?” pediatrician Dr. Daved van Stralen, a former medical director for the Riverside County Emergency Management Department and a former paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department, told CBS2 back in April. “It can’t have happened out of the clear blue.”
Attorneys were holding a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Hall of Justice in downtown L.A. to reveal the details of the lawsuit.

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