Fire Law Headlines: Idaho, New York, and Nebraska

Several cases are in the fire law news today. In Idaho, an assistant chief who was fired last April has filed suit in federal court claiming his termination violated his due process rights, was made in bad faith, and was done in retaliation for his speaking out about governmental improprieties.

Terry Gammel, an assistant chief with the Kuna Rural Fire Protection District, filed suit Monday in US District Court for the District of Idaho naming the district, the district’s commissioners and Fire Chief Perry Palmer as defendants. Here is a copy of the complaint.

In New York, a former FDNY fire marshal filed suit claiming his superiors pressured him into blaming a malfunctioning boiler as the cause in the LODD fire that killed Firefighter Michael Davidson on March 22, 2018. Scott Specht claims FDNY retaliated against him by taking him off the case, and assigning him to desk duty. More on the story.

In Nebraska, the city of South Sioux City agreed to accept $75,000 to settle a lawsuit it filed against the owners of a grain elevator for the response costs associated with a 2018 grain elevator explosion. The city had been seeking $120,034. 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.

Check Also

Ohio Court Rules Cause and Origin Report is a Public Record But Subject to Redaction

The Ohio Court of Appeals has ruled that the state fire marshal should have release a redacted version of an investigative report into the cause and origin of a fire that killed a firefighter in 2015 to The Cincinnati Enquirer in Dec. 2016. Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died fighting a house fire on Dec. 28, 2015.

Tennessee Captain Alleges Race Discrimination in Forced Retirement

An African American fire captain who resigned earlier this year after being disciplined twice for missing runs, has filed a race discrimination and retaliation suit against the City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Captain Theodore Pertiller, a 30 year veteran, filed suit last week in federal court.