2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!!! Here are some of the top stories from 2017 broken down by category:

Funniest Headline:

Most Outrageous Headlines for Suits Filed Against Fire Departments:

  1. FDNY Sued By Man Who Leaped From Ambulance
  2. Overdose Patient Who Assaulted Medics Now Sues Them
  3. NY Firefighter Turns Crotch Grab Into A $1.2 Million Federal Case

YCMTSU – Discipline

  1. Detroit Terminates Firefighter Who Brought Watermelon to Station
  2. Noose in Class Prompts Firing and Resignations in Florida
  3. DC Firefighter Assaulted At Scene Accused Of Being Impaired

YCMTSU – Criminal

  1. Florida Selfie War Paramedics Facing Jail Time
  2. Complaints About Austin’s Peeping Lieutenant Expand
  3. Detroit EMT Charged Criminally With Neglect of Duty
  4. Kentucky Firefighter Charged In CPR Training Scheme
  5. PA Chief Arrested With Minor
  6. Pennsylvania Firefighter Sentenced To Prison For Theft-Related Arson
  7. SC Chief Sentenced to 33 Months For Embezzlement
  8. Volunteer Firefighter Sentenced to 20 years in Prison For Arson
  9. NY Volunteer Pleads Guilty to Stealing $5.6 Million from Fire Company
  10. Virginia State Police Investigating Volunteer Firefighters For Rape

YCMTSU – Social Media

  1. Pennsylvania Chief Who Directed Racial Slur At Steelers Coach Resigns
  2. Massachusetts Medic Suspended Over Racist NFL Post
  3. DC Fire Inspector Posts Her Hope For Trump’s Assassination
  4. Suspension of NY Firefighter For Facebook Post Prompts $500k Federal Suit
  5. Facebook Post About Fatal Accident Leads To Firefighter Suspension
  6. Boston Firefighter Suspended Over Social Media Post

YCMTSU – Historical

  1. Family Seeks LODD Status for 1935 FDNY Death
  2. FOI Suit Filed in 1988 Kansas City LODD Explosion Case

Fire Department Victories

  1. Termination of Cleveland Sub Scammer Upheld
  2. Jury Rules Miami Dade Did Not Discriminate Against African American Female Captain
  3. Florida Court Finds No Gender Discrimination In Promotional Process
  4. Jury Clears PA Fire Company in Sexual Assault of Junior
  5. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Howard County Social Media Appeal

Fire Department Losses

  1. Jury Awards $1.4 Million in Charlotte Retaliation Case
  2. NJ Fire Inspector Awarded $1 Million
  3. Chula Vista Deputy Chief Awarded $1 Million in Discrimination Suit
  4. Jury Awards San Jose BC $800k For Retaliation
  5. Alaska Firefighter Awarded $780k Over Promotion
  6. Florida Firefighter Awarded $245k for Gender Discrimination
  7. Cincinnati Lieutenant Awarded $224k For Race discrimination
  8. RI Firefighter Ordered Reinstated – Town Manager’s Appointment Illegal


  1. Lexington Settles OT Dispute for $17.7 Million
  2. Stamford Fatal Christmas Fire Settlement Was For $6.65 Million
  3. YCMTSU Accident Case Settled in California for $4 Million
  4. California City Pays $3.7 Million To Settle Suit With Firefighters
  5. Chula Vista Settles Discrimination Suit For $2.1 Million
  6. Stamford Settles Second Suit Over 2011 Christmas Fatal Fire for $1.35 Million
  7. California FD Settles Sexual Harassment Suit for $1.25 Million
  8. Palo Alto Settles Motorcycle Accident Suit for $250k
  9. RI Firefighter Settles Sick Leave Abuse Termination Case for $175k
  10. Paterson NJ Fire Settles Apparatus Accident Case For $135k

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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Fire Law Headlines and a Familiar Name

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Negligence Suit Reinstated Against Four New York Fire Departments

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