Cincinnati, Ohio, has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a 16-year-old student who died three years ago after being accidentally trapped in a van and calling 911 twice.
City officials announced it would pay $6 million to the family of Kyle Plush and spend $250,000 on an outside review of the city’s 911 call system.
“We will work every day to ensure that our city never again experiences a tragedy like the one suffered by the Plush family,” Cincinnati City Manager Paula Boggs Muething said in a statement.
Plush died trapped under a folding seat in a minivan parked near his school on April 10, 2018. His father found him six hours after he managed to call 911 using voice commands to activate the phone in his pocket.
“The family enters this agreement in honor of their son Kyle. To honor his memory, it was important that we secure a civic commitment to continuous improvement,” Plush family attorney Al Gerhardstein said.
A Hamilton County prosecutor did not bring criminal charges against anyone for the failed response to Plush’s 911 calls, in which he warned that he feared he would die.
Two officers sent in response to Plush’s first 911 call drove through parking areas around the school, but didn’t get out. Police have said they didn’t have the information needed to narrow their search.
Plush’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2019 against the city, two 911 center employees, two police officers and a former city official, saying they wanted to find out what went wrong and to make sure it did not happen again.
The teen’s father, Ron Plush, had taken part in City Council meetings about the city’s 911 system and police response, and the city had conducted multiple investigations into its response.
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