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T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

'Ghost' calls overload lines, preventing babysitter from getting through for help – suit

An ambulance

A Texas mother is suing T‑Mobile USA, alleging technical issues with the carrier prevented her child from getting urgent medical care, which led to his death.

Bridget Alex says that the telco's problems with "ghost calls" left the babysitter of her six-month-old son unable to reach the city's emergency services in time to save the boy. The child, Brandon Alex, was later pronounced dead at hospital.

At the time, 911 call centers in Dallas had been struggling with heavy call loads due in part to "ghosting" glitches that, along with staffing and other problems, caused T‑Mobile USA and MetroPCS handsets to make multiple redials to the emergency service and left those callers on hold for long periods as a result.

According to the lawsuit [PDF], filed in Dallas, Texas, this week, Alex argues that T‑Mobile carries liability for her baby's death due to its failure to carry emergency calls properly.

"Upon information and belief, Defendants did not provide adequate software to address issues necessary for Defendants' products and services to operate properly with the City of Dallas's 9‑1‑1 call center," the complaint reads.

Additionally, the complaint argues, T‑Mobile was at fault for the inability of paramedics to reach Alex's house, as dispatchers were unable to accurately pinpoint the location of the call when sending help.

"Defendants should have reasonably foreseen that the dangerous conditions caused by the defective telecommunications technology, software and/or mobile device services and products would subject users to harm resulting from the defects," the suit reads.

"Defendants acted with conscious disregard for the safety of Brandon Alex, knowing that their conduct created a high and unreasonable risk of serious harm to others."

The suit seeks damages for liability, negligence, gross negligence, breach of warranties, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade and Practices Act, misrepresentation, bystander recovery, wrongful death, survival action, and various other damages.

T‑Mobile USA had no comment on the case. ®

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