Family sues T-Mobile after baby dies without 911 help

Posted at 6:34 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 18:34:40-04

Six-month-old Brandon Alex

The family of an infant who died after his babysitter’s repeated attempts to reach 911 failed is suing T-Mobile, saying the carrier is partly to blame for his death.

Six-month-old Brandon Alex’s babysitter tried for 40 minutes in March to call 911 after the baby rolled off a daybed onto the floor.

At the time, the city of Dallas’ emergency dispatch system was being clogged with so-called “ghost calls” — duplicate calls generated from legitimate 911 calls, city officials have said. The problem went on for months, and has been blamed partly on an issue with T-Mobile’s network technology. Call center staffing was also scrutinized after the incident.

In the lawsuit, the boy’s mother, Bridget Alex, claims that her son’s babysitter could not connect with 911 after trying several times on March 11, and that T-Mobile’s software failed to provide the dispatch service with the call’s location.

The babysitter on that day did reach Alex, who raced home and rushed Brandon to the hospital. The baby was transferred to another hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The boy’s cause of death has not been determined, the Collin County Medical Examiner’s office said.

“He was only 6 months,” Alex told CNN affiliate KTVT. “It wasn’t his time.”

Alex is seeking damages and compensation for “mental anguish, loss of consortium, grief, bereavement, loss of future financial contributions, loss of services, loss of advice, care and counsel, loss of society and companionship, medical, funeral, and burial expenses,” among other things.

T-Mobile declined to comment for this story.

Since Brandon’s death, the carrier has made adjustments to its cell phone network to try to solve the 911 problem, and the Dallas emergency call center added operators to relieve the burden of “ghost calls,” city officials said.

In April, the Dallas Police Department issued an overview that found understaffing of emergency call centers was a main cause of slow 911 response times during several months in 2016 and 2017, including in March, when Brandon Alex died.