Washington Fire Department Settles Fatal Accident Suit

The North Kitsap Fire & Rescue has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a 2014 accident between an engine and a motor scooter.

Jason Foster was killed on July 4, 2014 following a collision between his motor scooter and an engine. Foster’s family filed suit against NKFR and firefighter Scott Sommers, who was driving the engine. After the accident Sommers tested positive for low levels of THC in his system consistent with him having used cannabis several days prior.

In May, a King County jury awarded the Fosters $9.5 million in damages, prompting the department to appeal. According to the Kitsap Daily News, NKF&R Fire Chief Dan Smith told reporters that the settlement amount is less than the jury’s verdict, and is in “the best interest of everyone involved.” The exact amount of the settlement was not released.

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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