505 F.3d 456 (6th Cir. 2007), 06-2537, Spengler v. ADT Sec. Services, Inc.

Docket Nº:06-2537.
Citation:505 F.3d 456
Party Name:Dwight SPENGLER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ADT SECURITY SERVICES, INC., Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:October 04, 2007
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 456

505 F.3d 456 (6th Cir. 2007)

Dwight SPENGLER, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

ADT SECURITY SERVICES, INC., Defendant-Appellee.

No. 06-2537.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

October 4, 2007

Argued: Sept. 11, 2007.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 06-10036-Robert H. Cleland, District Judge.

Page 457

ARGUED:

Roy J. Transit, Royal Oak, Michigan, for Appellant.

Charles C. Eblen, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City, Missouri, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Roy J. Transit, Royal Oak, Michigan, for Appellant.

Charles C. Eblen, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City, Missouri, for Appellee.

Before: BOGGS, Chief Judge; MARTIN and SUTTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

BOYCE F. MARTIN, JR., Circuit Judge.

Dwight Spengler appeals from the district court's dismissal of his tort claim on summary judgment. Spengler alleges that ADT is responsible for his mother's death by failing to dispatch an ambulance to her address after she pressed an ADT-issued emergency call button. Because the district court correctly held that this case sounds in contract and not in tort, we AFFIRM the holding of the district court.

I.

On May 10, 2004, Dwight Spengler signed a residential services contract with ADT to install and monitor a security alarm at the home of Veronica Barker, his mother. The agreement included a portable call button alarm that Barker could activate when in distress. Due to cancer of the larynx and previous medical treatment of that condition, she could not speak. ADT therefore had instructions to call Plaintiff in the event of an alarm from Barker.

ADT received an alarm from Barker on October 26, 2005. Due to an error in the address that ADT gave to ambulance dispatchers in response to the alarm, emergency medical services were delayed in their arrival at Barker's residence by approximately sixteen minutes. By the time emergency personnel arrived, Barker's heart rhythm was asystolic. She never regained consciousness and later died in the hospital.

Spengler's lawsuit against ADT alleged that by providing an erroneous address to the dispatcher, ADT committed misfeasance, subjecting it to tort liability. The district court granted summary judgment for ADT on the tort claim, finding that ADT breached no duty independent of the...

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