Connecticut Firefighter and Fire Department Sued for Wrongful Death

A volunteer firefighter and his Connecticut fire department are facing a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the death of a pedestrian in 2019. John E. Murphy died on March 14, 2019 after being struck by a vehicle driven by Kevin Roman in New Milford, Connecticut. Murphy was reportedly walking to work at a Citco gas station at 9:30 pm when he was struck.

Roman was returning from a “a mandatory emergency responder course” for the Gaylordsville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. when the accident occurred. Murphy’s estate filed the action naming Roman, his father David S. Roman, and the Gaylordsville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. as defendants.

The suit alleges Kevin Roman failed to exercise due care, failed to keep a proper lookout, was driving too fast, was distracted, and failed to sound his horn, leading to Murphy’s death. David Roman was named because he was the owner of the vehicle that Kevin was driving, and alleged to be vicariously liable under the “family car doctrine.” The fire department was alleged to be vicariously liable since Roman “was in the course and scope of his volunteer position with the defendant, Gaylordsville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., and furthering its interests is attending mandatory training when this accident occurred.”

The suit was filed last week in Litchfield County Superior Court. Here is a copy of the complaint:

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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