Metro says it cannot be sued for 911 operators’ mistakes during Waffle House shooting

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A police car sits in front of a Waffle House restaurant Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. At least four people died after a gunman opened fire at the restaurant early Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Attorneys representing Metro Government are asking a judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed against them.

The lawsuit was filed on April 22, 2019 by Akilah DaSilva’s mom, Shaundelle Brooks. 23-year-old DaSilva died in the Waffle House mass shooting.

The lawsuit uses News 2’s investigation into why Metro Police were dispatched to the wrong restaurant that morning.

News 2 found out 911 operators ignored GPS coordinates for the callers inside the restaurant because, in part, their electronic phone book had not been updated to reflect the Waffle House, which had been built mere months prior to the shooting.

Metro’s motion to dismiss filed Friday afternoon claims the government is immune from a lawsuit because Tennessee state law protects 911 operators from liability except for claims of “recklessness or intentional misconduct”, and if the government failed to train the employees.

The motion claims Brooks failed to provide sufficient evidence that the 911 operators acted recklessly or with gross negligence. It also states that Metro is immune from a lawsuit under the public duty doctrine because 911 services are a public duty.

Daniel Horwitz, Brooks’ attorney, said in a statement “We are disappointed that rather than taking responsibility for the ECC’s clear and preventable mistakes during this tragedy or taking steps to ensure that others don’t die unnecessarily going forward, the Briley Administration is, instead, baselessly insisting that Metro can never be held responsible for catastrophic ECC errors no matter how egregious they are. That is not the law, though, and we don’t believe that the court is at risk of holding otherwise.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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