Plush family files wrongful death lawsuit

Kyle Plush (contributed)

The family of Kyle Plush, the 16-year old who died in April 2018 after he became trapped in his family van and suffocated despite calling 911 twice, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

The filing of the lawsuit by the law firm Gerhardstein and Branch will allow them to subpeona for information and persons to determine who was responsible for what they consider the mishandling of their son's 911 calls for help.


According to the lawsuit, Kyle Plush entered his family's van on April 10, 2018 at Seven Hills School to retrieve items from rear of the vehicle. The back seat unexpectedly folded up on him, pinning him upside down against the back door. He was unable to move and could barely breathe. He used Siri to call 911 from his phone in his pocket. Dispatchers sent police to search for him, but didn't find his van. He suffocated and wasn't found until his father found his van hours later with his body inside.

The complaint details what they consider were the factors that lead to his death:

1) The first call taker chose to exclude critical information when passing the call to dispatch.

2) She did not properly classify the call as trapped and in need of rescue, which would have sent fire and EMS.

3) She chose not to give law enforcement his precise location even though she had it through wireless mapping technology.

4) The second call taker heard Kyle asking for help but chose to treat his call as a "silent call" and improperly enabled the TTY function, knowing it reduced the volume of Kyle's voice.

5) Second call taker chose not to play back the recorded call after she ended it to hear what he said.

6) She never told dispatch she received the call or that he stated he was almost dead.

7) The responding officers knew the caller was inside a van parked in the Seven Hills Thrift shop parking lot yet never searched that entire lot or left their vehicle to search for him.

8) The police officers had the technology in their vehicle to populate a map on their computers or cell phones with the address given yet left without using it.

The family is seeking fair compensation and to encourage the necessary reforms to prevent other deaths in the future.

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