Parents of young boy killed by door at Scottsdale fire station seek $9M
PHOENIX — The family of a young boy killed when an automated door crushed him at a suburban Phoenix fire station is seeking $9 million in damages.
Representatives of Daniel and Courtney Reiss notified Scottsdale on Thursday they were submitting a notice of claim, the legal precursor to a lawsuit against a public entity in Arizona, over the February death of their only child.
The notification said Courtney and 16-month-old Joey were among a group of four mothers and seven children touring the Scottsdale Fire Station No. 1 at 1901 N. Miller Road on Feb. 3 when the incident occurred.
When a truck left the station to take some of the visitors on a ride, the claim says, it triggered a sensor that was programmed to close the bay door several minutes later. The door had been open before the truck left, and there was no warning it would be shutting.
When it “violently slammed shut on Joey,” his mother had no time to react, the claim said.
The boy suffered skull fractures and a massive brain injury and was never revived, despite efforts at the station and the hospital. He was declared dead two days later, and his organs were donated.
The claim said the risk of the type of door at the station was known and the danger was foreseeable, listing several steps that should have been taken to avoid the hazard.
The Reisses made a settlement offer to the city for $9 million — $3 million to each parent for wrongful death and $3 million to Courtney for negligent infliction of emotional distress resulting from seeing her son killed.