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DeLong v. County of Erie

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division
89 A.D.2d 376, 455 N.Y.S.2d 887 (1982), aff'd, 60 N.Y.2d 296, 457 N.E.2d 717, 469 N.Y.S.2d 611 (1983)



Amalia DeLong (plaintiff) lived at 319 Victoria Boulevard in Kenmore, a community outside Buffalo that was served by the 911 system of Erie County. The 911 system was located at the Buffalo Police Department. One morning, DeLong dialed 911 and told the operator that there was a burglar trying to break into her house. She was asked her address, but other than that, the operator did not follow proper procedure such as asking DeLong’s name or repeating the address back to her. At the end of the call, the operator said that he would send police right away. DeLong did not call the local Kenmore Police Department or her neighbors. The 911 operator had negligently taken the address down as 219 Victoria Boulevard. The police were dispatched to that incorrect address and thus did not get to DeLong’s house until much later. As a result of the delay, DeLong was stabbed and killed by the burglar. DeLong’s husband brought suit against Erie County and the city of Buffalo (defendants). The trial court found in favor of DeLong. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hancock, J.)

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