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Claim: Wrongful placement on list caused man’s death

March 25, 2022 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — A wrongful-death claim against the city of Seattle seeking $10 million has been filed for the children of a 45-year-old man whose lawyer says he died from a heart attack because his treatment by medics was delayed due to a mistake that had him listed as a danger to first responders.

The Seattle Times reports the claim was filed Thursday on behalf of the children of William Yurek - his 23-year-old daughter and his ex-wife, the guardian of Yurek’s three younger children, ages 5, 8 and 13.

“The city was negligent,” said attorney Mark Lindquist. “When you’re keeping a list that people’s lives are depending on, it needs to be accurate and up to date. This was not. Seattle screwed up.”

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Lindquist said he believes it was Yurek’s address and not his name that was flagged. He expects to learn more about who is on the list, how they got on it and if and how people can get off the list during the discovery process.

A spokesperson with the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services said the claim had not yet been received by the department’s Risk Management Division. She said the city does not comment on pending claims or litigation.

On Nov. 2, Yurek’s 13-year-old son called 911 and reported his father was having chest pains and difficulty breathing, according to the family’s claim against the city. Medics arrived six minutes later but were ordered to wait for a police escort because, the claim says, Yurek was on a list “for hostility to first responders.”

But the list was out of date and the caution for first responders was related to a previous tenant, according to the claim.

As Yurek’s condition deteriorated, his son called 911 a second time and medics decided to ignore the order to wait for police, applied a defibrillator and started CPR, the claim says. But Yurek died in front of his son.