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Michael J. Guss Obtains Summary Disposition of Wrongful Death Claims in Favor of 911 Service Provider

Amy Croteau, as PR/EO Richard Croteau v Peninsular Fiber Network, LLC et. al., Genesee County Circuit Court, Case No. 20-114514-NO. In this case, the plaintiff argued that defendant was liable for allegedly improperly routing a 911 call from the plaintiff’s home in Clayton Township, Michigan (Genesee County) to a 911 dispatch center in Clayton, Michigan (Lenawee County). Plaintiff alleged this resulted in a delay in the dispatching of emergency services to plaintiff’s home, and the death of plaintiff’s decedent. Plaintiff alleged wrongful death resulting from the above, where there was an alleged 45 minute delay in getting services to the decedent, and plaintiff relied on an opinion by Dr. Werner U. Spitz finding causation. We filed a motion for summary disposition on the basis that plaintiff had failed to state a claim, and because of immunity granted by law. We argued that plaintiff’s complaint stated claims for mere negligence, for which defendant was immune under Michigan statutory law. Plaintiff argued that she had stated claims for gross negligence, but we argued that plaintiff’s mere labeling of claims as gross negligence was insufficient, where plaintiff had pled conclusory statements and had no factual allegations that would support a claim for gross negligence, wanton and willful misconduct, or criminal conduct. The trial court agreed with our above arguments, and dismissed plaintiff’s claims in their entirety.