Judge rejects city’s effort to end teen death lawsuit

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CINCINNATI (AP) —An Ohio judgedecided Wednesday to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a 16-year-old student who died after being trapped by a fold-up vehicle seat, despite making two 911 calls.

Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman rejected a motion to dismiss the suit filed by Cincinnati. Ruehlman heard legal arguments last month but said the facts of the case stemming from Kyle Plush’s death should be determined in a trial.

In the lawsuit filed last year, the family accuses the city, a former city official and four city employees of actions leading to Plush’s 2018 death. The lawsuit’s goals are to determine what went wrong when police were unable to locate him and to make sure it doesn’t happen again, the family said.

The city contended that the employees are protected by governmental immunity and that the lawsuit lacks merit. The city also says it has improved its 911 response system and continues to make improvements.

“This court finds that there are a set of facts presented that may allow for relief for the plaintiff,” Ruehlman wrote.

A phone message seeking comment was left with the city’s law department.

A trial date has been set tentatively for March 30.

Plush was apparently pinned by a foldaway seat in his family’s van and suffocated in a parking lot near his school.

Kyle’s father Ron discovered his body nearly six hours after his son’s first 911 call, when Kyle warned: “I’m going to die soon.”

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Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewell

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