News

Family Of Dead Queens Woman Sues City Alleging Her Desperate 911 Call Was Ignored

Florence Hollins' Son, Clyde, Says His Mom Would Be Alive If Help Had Arrived
Florence Hollins (credit: Personal Photo)

Florence Hollins (credit: Personal Photo)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a now-deceased Queens woman is suing New York City, saying that her desperate 911 call was ignored after she fell and couldn’t get up.

Clyde Hollins III didn’t get to say happy Mother’s Day to his mom Florence and he won’t be able to celebrate her 74th birthday Tuesday. Hollins blames the city and its 911 system, saying his mom died because help never arrived.

“Operator was extremely rude…and he finally said ‘We’re sending someone’ and no one showed up,” Hollins told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Florence Hollins didn’t ask for an ambulance, but did repeatedly ask for help and got assurances someone would arrive.

The following is part of the 911 that was placed by Florence Hollins from her Rego Park apartment on January 9, 2011 at 3 a.m.:

Hollins: “I slipped and fell.”

Operator: “Hello?”

Hollins: “I need to two officers to come pick me up.”

Operator: “Ok. From where?”

Hollins: “I’m in Rego Park.”

Hollins: “I slipped and fell.”

Operator: “You need an ambulance?”

Hollins: “No.”

Operator: “You need an ambulance?”

Hollins: “No. I just need to be picked up!”

Operator: “Off the floor?”

Hollins: “Yes.”

Operator: “All right ma’am assistance will be there as soon as possible all right?

Clyde Hollins III admitted his mother sounded disoriented in the 911 call, but said she did give her home address and said she needed help getting off the floor.

“How many other people does this happen to? That they are cavalier about calls,” he said.

Florence Hollins, left bleeding with a head injury, was found dead on the bathroom floor by a home health aid worker 36 hours later. It wasn’t until her family searched the deceased woman’s cellphone call log that anyone realized she had even made a plea for help.

“Had they come, they probably would’ve taken her to the hospital since she had hit her head and with hospital care, she likely wouldve stayed alive,” said Clyde Hollins.

Hollins’ wrongful-death suit, filed in Queens Supreme Court, seeks $1.5 million from the city, the NYPD emergency services unit, and the FDNY.  The suit includes pain and suffering and fear of impending death.

The New York City Law Department said it would not comment due to pending litigation.

Do you think the family will win the case?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…