Fire Departments in NJ and Maryland Settle Suits

Settlements involving two fire departments are in the fire law news today.

In New Jersey, a sexual harassment suit against the Franklin Township Fire District No. 3 has been settled. Courtney Jackson sued the district in 2013 for sexual harassment and retaliation that allegedly occurred between March 13, 2012 to June 24, 2013.

Jackson was reportedly denied full membership to the fire company, prompting her to send letters to department officials complaining about sexual harassment by Assistant Chief Chris Calvo. According to the lawsuit, Chief Calvo repeatedly made sexually suggestive and offensive comments in her presence. is reporting that Jackson has accepted $50,000 to settle her claims. More on the story.

In Maryland, a wrongful death suit brought by the family of a 17-year old who died at a fire department sponsored carnival has been settled.

Kara Micciche was killed on July 12, 2011 while crossing the street at a carnival sponsored by the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department. Her family sued the driver of the vehicle that struck Kara, as well as the fire department. The suit claimed the department knew or should have known people would be crossing a busy highway to reach the fairgrounds and should have provided traffic control.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. After the accident, the state installed a crosswalk. More on the story.

Lastly, several people have emailed me about the two public records lawsuits filed by Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin against two Rhode Island Fire Districts. The AG alleges the fire districts deliberately refused to comply with the public records requirements. Here are copies of the complaints.

Manville Fire District: Kilmartin v Manville Fire District

Western Coventry Fire District: Kilmartin v Western Coventry Fire District

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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