Recently, the IAFPD joined with the Northern Illinois Alliance of Fire Protection Districts and the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to appear and file a joint amicus brief in the Illinois Supreme Court in a case involving a woman who died of a pulmonary embolism due to an unfortunate series of miscommunications and events after making a 911 call. Her estate filed suit against a number of public entities and public employees for her wrongful death. The trial court and the appellate court held that the public entities and public employees were not liable for her death. The appellate court relied on the public duty rule to hold that the defendants did not owe a duty to provide adequate 911 dispatch and emergency medical services. According to the appellate court, the so-called “special duty” exception to the public duty rule did not apply because the decedent was not under the defendants’ direct and immediate control at the time of her death. In a closely watched case, the Illinois Supreme Court has allowed the plaintiff to appeal and challenge the public duty rule.
A decision for the case is not expected from the Court until late this year or early next year. The brief was prepared by Michael Resis who was engaged by the IAFPD, the NIAFFD, and the IFCA to represent the organizations. Click the link below to read Mike's article, starting on page 32.