Seattle ‘screwed this up,’ bereaved family prepares lawsuit involving delayed police response

Nov 26, 2021, 11:08 AM | Updated: 11:55 am
Will Yurek...
A Seattle fire truck. (Photo credit 'Loco Steve' via Flickr)
(Photo credit 'Loco Steve' via Flickr)

The family of Will Yurek is preparing to file a claim against the City of Seattle.

On Nov. 2, Yurek’s son Drew called 911 to report that his father was having a medical emergency. As KTTH’s Jason Rantz first reported, when Seattle Fire arrived six minutes later, they were told to wait for police before entering.

Rantz: 13-yr-old watches father die as staffing crisis likely delayed police, fire response

The address was incorrectly flagged as unsafe for Seattle Fire to enter. The last tenant living at the Yurek’s address was listed as being hostile to first responders, but the blacklist from Seattle Fire wasn’t updated. It took short-staffed Seattle police 15 minutes to arrive on scene, delaying medics from performing life-saving measures for Will Yurek.

Instead, Drew watched helplessly as his father died. Medical experts say Will Yurek had a good chance of surviving if paramedics had been able to treat him as soon as they got there.

“We’ll be filing a claim shortly,” attorney Mark Lindquist of the Herrmann Law Group told KIRO Radio. “We’re currently gathering additional information, but it’s already quite clear: The city screwed this up.”

Rantz says short staffing at the Seattle Police Department compounded the problem. Hundreds of officers have quit since the protests and riots of 2020, and nearly 100 more were taken off-duty in October due to the COVID vaccine mandate in place for city employees. Rantz contends this is a factor leading to the delayed response to the Yurek residence.

Under state law, a claim must be filed against the city before plaintiffs can file a lawsuit.

“The city made numerous mistakes here, but the most significant was they mislabeled Mr. Yurek as combative with law enforcement. He was not. They had the wrong guy,” Lindquist said. “Their list was outdated. And when you’ve got a list, and lives depend upon the accuracy of that list, your list has to be updated. It’s got to be accurate. Here, it wasn’t.”

The City of Seattle has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation. In response to earlier questions about the Yurek case, a Seattle Fire Department spokesperson said “we are carefully reviewing this incident from many angles in our department (operations, dispatch, etc.) and our Premise Notes Policy.”

Lindquist says 13-year-old Drew is devastated.

“Drew’s having a very tough time with this, as you might imagine; he’s angry. He doesn’t want people to even touch his father’s things. There’s a lot going on,” Lindquist said. “Not only did he lose his father, at a pretty critical age for a young man at 13, he watched it happen. And he knows it didn’t need to happen. He did the right thing. He called 911. And the city screwed it up.”

Local News

police pursuit...
Matt Markovich

Source of pursuit deaths updates controversial data

Stats used by legislators to consider changing police pursuit laws may be in question.
16 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

‘Recycle, don’t throw out’ the message of new King County initiative

King County has launched a new initiative to get people to recycle or reuse items before automatically throwing them out.
16 hours ago
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
16 hours ago
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pedestrian hit by train in Belltown, police investigate

Seattle Police are investigating after a man was hit by a train near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood Thursday night.
16 hours ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
16 hours ago
snohomish bus...
Bill Kaczaraba

Snohomish Community Transit proposes new connections to light rail, more frequent bus service

Community Transit is proposing changes for 2024 and beyond that would increase local bus service and include connections to light rail in Snohomish County.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle ‘screwed this up,’ bereaved family prepares lawsuit involving delayed police response