A Seattle man died of cardiac arrest after his 13-year-old son called 911 twice because he was “barely breathing” and had suffered a heart attack, according to his family’s lawsuit.
Before the boy called 911 a second time, doctors were already outside his father’s apartment, waiting, on Nov. 2, 2021, a complaint filed in Washington State Superior Court in King County says. .
After their arrival, first responders entered the apartment 13 minutes later when their attempts to perform CPR and use a defibrillator on William Yurek were unsuccessful, according to the complaint.
Yurek, a father of four, died at age 46, according to personal injury attorney Mark Lindquist, who represented Yurek’s family.
Doctors delayed rescuing Yurek because they were waiting for a police escort, since Yurek was mistakenly on an outdated “hit list” of people considered hostile to first responders, according to the complaint, which says “a previous tenant had been in the (blacklist). “
Yurek’s apartment was “marked with a ‘note of caution’ for reported hostility toward Seattle firefighters and police,” the complaint says.
A year after Yurek’s family sued the city of Seattle over his death, their wrongful death lawsuit was settled for $1,860,000 on October 2, Linquist announced in a press release.
“The family wanted justice. They wanted responsibility. And they wanted the city to fix this problem so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else,” Lindquist told McClatchy News in a statement on Oct. 3.
“Our lawsuit accomplished all of this,” Lindquist added.
McClatchy News reached out to Seattle city officials for comment on Oct. 3 and did not receive an immediate response.
About four minutes after Yurek’s son’s second 911 call, medics entered the apartment without waiting “further for the police,” the complaint says.
“Once inside, doctors did everything they could to save Will’s life,” Lindquist said in the news release. “The family has always been grateful to the doctors who broke protocol to come in and do the best they could.”
Yurek’s three youngest children will receive money from the settlement when they are adults, according to the statement.
Her son, who dialed 911 and is now 15, plans to go to law school in the future, according to Lindquist.
“Now you won’t have to worry about paying tuition,” Lindquist told McClatchy News.
Lawsuit Forces Seattle to Revisit ‘Blacklist’ Guidelines
If Seattle’s blacklist protocol had not prevented doctors from immediately responding to Yurek when they arrived at his apartment, he would have had a 25% chance of survival, according to some experts who reviewed the case, according to the statement.
An expert testifying on behalf of Seattle said Yurek’s chances of survival were less than 25% due to “prior drug use and pre-existing medical conditions,” according to the statement, which said Yurek was recovering from addiction before die.
After Yurek’s family filed their lawsuit, Seattle revised its blacklisting guidelines, according to the statement.
A spokesperson for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, Tim Robinson, confirmed this to the Seattle Times.
Any “note of caution” about Seattle residents will expire after a year, “or will be reviewed and renewed,” according to Robinson, the newspaper reported.
Additionally, a Seattle Fire Department spokesperson told KIRO Newsradio in a statement about the lawsuit settlement that “cautionary notes regarding the need for (Seattle Police Department) assistance due to violent or threatening behavior should be noted.” (now) checked after each response submitted. to the address.”
“A note of caution should be removed if the SFD learns that the occupant no longer lives at the address,” the spokesperson added, according to the outlet.
Ultimately, Yurek’s family believes the case was “resolved fairly and equitably,” Lindquist said in the news release.
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