LOCAL NEWS

Family of man who died after delayed medic response sues City of Seattle

Dec 9, 2022, 7:03 AM | Updated: 9:24 am
died...
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The family of a man who died of cardiac arrest after first responders delayed entering his home is launching a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Seattle for $10 million.

William Yurek’s 13-year-old son called 911 twice on the afternoon of Nov. 2, 2021, reporting that his 46-year-old father was having chest pains and trouble breathing.

District to pay $5M over teen’s death at football practice

Medics arrived within six minutes of the first call, but then waited outside the home for 13 minutes.

Mark Lindquist, the family’s attorney, explained that Yurek’s address was on a list of addresses belonging to people who have been combative with law enforcement. When paramedics encounter any of these addresses, they must wait for a police escort before entering the building.

“The list was wrong. The list hadn’t been updated,” Lindquist said. “A previous tenant had been hostile to first responders, but Mr. Yurek had never been. He should not have been on the list.”

After the second 911 call from Yurek’s son came in and police still had not arrived, the medics violated protocol and went inside the home. They tried CPR and a defibrillator but were unable to save Yurek.

Lindquist said if help had come a few minutes sooner, Yurek may still be here today.

“Medical experts will tell you that every minute medical aid is delayed in a situation like this reduces the chances of survival by 7 to 10%,” he said. “Doctors and experts have looked at this and believe Mr. Yurek would have had a very good chance of survival if the medics had administered aid as soon as they arrived. Every single minute counts in a cardiac arrest situation, and there was a 13-minute delay here.”

Now Yurek’s family wants the city to answer for his death and commit to updating this list.

“If you’re going to keep a list that lives depend upon, that list has to be maintained, it has to be updated. This list was not,” Lindquist said, adding, “One of the problems is, the list goes by addresses instead of names, and people move, and they’re not updating the list.”

Lindquist does not have a problem with the list existing, but he does have a problem with it being incorrect.

“We understand the importance of safety to the first responders, absolutely,” he said. “But a list like this, lives literally depend upon, and therefore it has to be updated. And it wasn’t.”

Lindquist said he wants justice for Yurek’s kids.

“Everyone in the family is struggling with this preventable death, but especially the 13-year-old son who had to watch his father die, even after he did everything right,” Lindquist said.

KIRO Newsradio has reached out to the Seattle Fire Department, asking whether the list is still in use and how many people are on it. The department answered that it cannot comment on pending litigation.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

Local News

collision...
Theresa Robinson, KIRO 7 News

3 injured in collision involving multiple vehicles, including forklift, in north Seattle

The collision happened at about 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of Aurora Avenue North and North 96th Street.
23 hours ago
crime report...
Kathryn Stone

Seattle Police 2022 crime report shows increase in murders, violent crime

The number of homicides also rose by 24%, with 55 lives lost last year, most of those by gunfire, surpassing the numbers in 2020.
23 hours ago
Seattle police, vaccine mandate, Chief DIaz...
Frank Sumrall

How Seattle PD is impacted by end of COVID vaccine mandate

Following updated public health guidelines, King County and its county seat, Seattle, will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
23 hours ago
pierce county...
Bill Kaczaraba

Woman arrested after carjacking attempt in Pierce County

Pierce County prosecutors charged the 27-year-old woman with attempted robbery in the first degree, and possession of a stolen vehicle.
23 hours ago
Howe Street Stairs...
Kathryn Stone

Seattle’s ‘Howe Street Stairs’ location of alleged female assaults

Emily, a woman who frequently jogs throughout Seattle, said she was punched in the face during her run near the "Howe Street Stairs."
23 hours ago
airport...
Bill Kaczaraba

New group would take a fresh look at Pierce, Thurston County airport sites

Ground Zero for the Puget Sound region is forecast to be 2050 when Sea-Tac airport will no longer be able to handle the number of passengers.
23 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.
SHIBA WA...

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.
Family of man who died after delayed medic response sues City of Seattle