The mother of a teen who died two years ago following a violent early-morning altercation in South Surrey is suing the province and a 911 dispatcher for wrongful death.
According to court documents, Junko Iida alleges negligence on the part of the dispatcher who fielded the call for help early Dec. 13, 2014 “caused and/or contributed” to the death of her son, Dario Bartoli.
Bartoli, 15, was pronounced dead at Peace Arch Hospital just after 10 a.m. on the morning in question.
At the time, police suggested an “alcohol-fuelled” altercation had taken place in or near Bakerview Park – located at 18 Avenue and 154 Street – hours before, leaving Bartoli with critical injuries.
A second teen was not injured.
No one has been charged in connection with Bartoli’s death.
According to Iida’s notice of claim – filed in late November 2016 – incorrect coding of the 911 call that morning, combined with delays responding to police requests for ambulance services, led to an 11-minute delay in paramedics arriving at the scene.
“Had the EHS ambulance unit arrived at the scene 11 minutes earlier than it did, Dario could have been transferred to British Columbia Children’s Hospital… and it is more likely than not he would have survived his injuries,” the claim states.
According to a timeline detailed in the claim, the attack occurred “at or around 2 a.m.,” as Bartoli and a friend were walking home.
The first 911 call was made at 2:43:27 a.m., by the resident of a home where the pair sought help, and police were dispatched to the scene just under two minutes later, arriving at approximately 2:48 a.m.
When the Surrey RCMP dispatch centre called to request ambulance services, “the call was placed on hold for two minutes and 47 seconds,” the claim states.
Following a second time on hold, the 911 dispatcher “erroneously entered and/or input… an assault of a single unknown male who was conscious and breathing,” generating a Code 2 response, which, according to the claim, “is for non-life-threatening patient conditions.”
A Code 3 response was allegedly requested multiple times by the Surrey RCMP dispatch centre before that request was inputed into the EHS system.
“The Surrey RCMP dispatch center had called EHS at least four times to update the condition of the two assault victims and to request a Code 3 ambulance unit to the scene,” the claim states.
“It took approximately 20 minutes and 32 seconds for the EHS ambulance unit to arrive at the scene from the time the Surrey RCMP dispatch center first made a request of (the defendant)…”
The claim alleges the province contributed to the outcome by, among other things, failing to properly train and monitor 911 dispatchers, and by “failing to take immediate action when a Code 3 ambulance unit was requested by the police dispatch center.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court, and the defendants have yet to file a response.
Iida is seeking general and special damages, as well as costs.