Omaha Sued Over Fire in Dentist’s Office

A problem that escapes the attention of the media as well as most people, is the prevalence of pro se lawsuits that accuse numerous people and entities with wrongdoing on vague or non-existent legal theories. Many but not all are filed by prisoners. Most lack the sophistication necessary to formulate a coherent legal strategy.

Unfortunately, I see these cases on a regular basis because fire departments are one of the entities that are commonly sued. Recall back in 2015 I posted about one that named 88 defendants including the Brockton Fire Department, the New England Patriots, and Tom Brady, along with the band Oasis, Def Jam Recordings, “the neighbors across the hall” and “a guy in the apartment to the left diagonal space from my old apartment”. Most pro se cases of this nature do not warrant much attention. There have been a couple of dozen this year alone naming fire departments.

The Omaha Fire Department has found itself facing a pro se lawsuit filed by a prisoner who was accused of setting a dentist’s office on fire in 2016. Alphonso Vernell Fraizer, II filed suit last week in US District Court claiming he is the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy to frame him for setting the fire. According to the complaint, the accusation originated with his ex-wife and the dentist for whom she works. The suit claims the Omaha Fire Department, Omaha Police Department, three prosecutors, two judges, and his ex-wife’s divorce attorney were also part of the conspiracy. Frazier claims the dentist and his ex-wife have been having an affair, and he was framed for the fire because he confronted the dentist.

The complaint alleges false arrest, race discrimination, violations of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 13th and 14th Amendments, “Human Trafficking and Slavery”, bullying, defamation, hate crimes, intentional infliction of severe emotional distress and HIPAA violations. One of the biggest challenges with pro se complaints is trying to understand whether the complaint is simply poorly drafted because of the lack of sophistication of the drafter, or whether the claims are indeed frivolous. I’ll let the reader be the judge of that.

Here is a copy of the complaint: Frazier v City of Omaha

Frazier is seeking $500,000,000 (that would be $5 hundred million) in damages.

 

 

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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