Wilson vs. City of Jersey City – 911 Operator Negligence

By Michael Zerres

On remand from the NJ Supreme Court, the Appellate Division upheld, in its June 28, 2012 decision, a trial court Order entering summary judgment in favor of the defendant for its negligence in handling a 911 call. The Court ruled that while the 911 operators were clearly negligent, they are immune from liability pursuant to NJSA 52:17C-10(d) which requires that a plaintiff prove “a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.” That requirement was not met, based upon the evidence in the Wilson case. Going forward, a 911 operator and his/her employer are not liable for mere negligence under the statute, and, can only be responsible if they acted with a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of others.

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