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Douglas County settles 911 negligence lawsuit for $120,000

Douglas County settles 911 negligence lawsuit for $120,000

Survivors of Omaha woman who died waiting for rescuers sue city, Douglas County (copy) (copy)

Cristine Herek, far right, with her sister Chancy Sigloch and Sigloch’s family on a trip to Cancun for Thanksgiving 2016.

Douglas County will pay $120,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of a woman who died of an asthma attack in 2017 while waiting nearly an hour for rescuers to find her North Omaha home.

Cristine Herek had called 911 in distress from her cellphone but gave her work address instead of her home address, which was at 43rd and Erskine Streets, less than a block from a fire station. By the time police found her on her porch after 911 personnel tracked her through her cellphone company, she was dead.

Her survivors filed a wrongful death lawsuit, contending that Douglas County 911 personnel did not take Herek’s calls seriously enough and had been negligent in failing to locate her in time to save her life. The county has denied that it was liable for her death. The settlement agreement states that the county does not admit negligence or liability.

The Douglas County Board voted Tuesday to approve the settlement with representatives of the late Cristine Herek’s son, Angelo Emmanuel, and her estate.

Herek, 54, was an administrative worker for Heartland Family Service.

“We are all just happy it’s been resolved and we can move on,” her sister, Chancy Sigloch, said by email Tuesday.

Our best Omaha staff photos of February 2021

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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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