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Court says ten years is too late for grieving mother to allege new theories of negligence


Posted on Oct 12, 2012

In 1999, Hannes Hollo had a heart attack in his apartment, so his mother, Josephine Clare-Hollo, called 911. The dispatcher responded by calling an ambulance. The ambulance, however, responded by going to the wrong home address. The ambulance correctly arrived at Hollo’s apartment fifteen minutes after Clare-Hollo called 911.

The ambulance took Hollo to the hospital. After Hollo arrived at the hospital, he died. Shortly thereafter, Clare-Hollo filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son, Hollo, and herself. Clare-Hollo filed a lawsuit for the wrongful death of Hollo against the City, the ambulance, and another individual when they handled and responded to Clare-Hollo’s 911 call. The court consolidated the lawsuits into one combined lawsuit. Contained in the lawsuit, Clare-Hollo claimed that the parties were negligent in handling and responding to the call. Hollo suffered a heart attack and the ambulance arrived fifteen minutes later, after the ambulance first drove to an incorrect address.

Ten years after Clare-Hollo filed the original lawsuit, she presented new theories of negligence. Clare-Hollo alleged that the ambulance was negligent for hiding or destroying evidence regarding the 911 call. Clare-Hollo also alleged that the City did not indicate that her original complaint was deficient. She then asserted a series of specific acts of negligence. They are listed in the court opinion which can be found here.

The court explained that the new theories alleged by Clare-Hollo could not be added, as they were not mentioned in the original lawsuit. The theories must be similar or relevant to the theories originally alleged.

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Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer