Mass Driver Who Rear Ended Fire Truck Loses Suit

Today’s burning question: Yeah… so… like… I was drivin’ down the road and I ran into the back of a parked fire truck.  So, like, ya know… I can sue the firefighters, right?

Answer: yes you can, but you probably won’t win!!!!

And so went the case of Max Piccolomini, who plowed into the back of a Methuen, Massachusetts fire truck back in 2009 and sued the city and the truck’s driver for negligence. Piccolomini originally claimed the firefighters left the vehicle parked in the travel lane without warning lights on while they got out and bought ice cream.

The firefighters had a slightly different version of the facts: the truck was taking a left-hand turn into Jay Gees Ice Cream and while stopped in traffic Piccolomini plowed into them.

Piccolomini suffered a collapsed lung, back and neck injuries, and bruises in the crash. He was cited by police for causing the accident but nonetheless opted to sue the city and firefighter John Paintigini seeking $50,000 in damages.

Last Friday, a Superior Court jury took just 20 minutes to weigh three days of testimony and rule in the city’s favor. No word on whether Piccolomini will have to pay the city’s defense costs, nor for damages to the truck.

More on the story

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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