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Phoenix to vote on $1.6 million settlement after 911 call didn't bring ambulance

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 12:15pm

Phoenix will pay more than a million dollars to a widower who partly blames firefighters for his wife’s death. 

On New Year’s Eve 2021, Francesca Sandberg had been sick with COVID-19 when her husband called 911. Bruce Sandberg told the dispatcher his wife was having heart and breathing problems and wanted an ambulance. Instead, a fire engine arrived. 

Sandberg told ABC15 that firefighters didn’t perform the right tests and refused to call for an ambulance. He drove his 53-year-old wife to the hospital where she died. An internal investigation raised questions about whether appropriate tests were conducted by a fire crew.

On Wednesday, the City Council will vote to settle a negligence lawsuit for $1.65 million. The city had no comment and the attorney representing Sandberg was unavailable.