Attorney Al Gerhardstein stands with Jill and Ron Plush to discuss the settlement they reached with the city of Cincinnati in the wrongful death lawsuit for 16-year-old Kyle Plush. Photo by: Kristen Swilley (WCPO)
By Kelly Carr
City Manager’s Office
On the eve of the third anniversary of the death of Kyle Plush, the City and the Plush family have agreed to resolve a lawsuit filed by the family seeking damages and meaningful improvement of the City Emergency Communication Center (ECC).
City Manager Paula Boggs Muething said, “The employees of the Emergency Communications Center and Police Department are dedicated public servants who are committed to helping when people need them the most. We will work every day to ensure that our City never again experiences a tragedy like the one suffered by the Plush family. The City is dedicated to providing the most professional emergency response to all Cincinnatians.”
Family attorney Al Gerhardstein said, “The family enters this agreement in honor of their son, Kyle. To honor his memory, it was important that we secure a civic commitment to continuous improvement. With this agreement the City Manager commits to continue reforms in an enforceable, transparent way that will make the City safer for everyone. The family sees improvement under the current leadership, and this court supervised agreement will build on that.”
The settlement provides for a payment of $6 million to the Plush Family.
The City has expended considerable energy and resources to improve the ECC over the past three years, including:
• Changing leadership at the ECC
• Embracing data-based approaches
• Insuring higher retention rates of ECC employees
• Providing call response times that exceed national standards
• Upgrading mapping software in police vehicles with 911 caller locations,
• Amending procedures to emergency calls classified as “unknown trouble”
Beyond the strides already taken, the City has committed in this agreement to additional efforts for continuous improvement of emergency response through appointing an expert team to assess and advise on recommendations for current ECC operations. The City will maintain transparency regarding the status of the ECC through public reporting of expert recommendations and progress. The Plush Family remains inspired by Kyle to work for 911 reform through the Kyle Plush Answer the Call Foundation: https://kyleplushanswerthecall.org/.