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Municipal Liability

Louisiana Chief Sues Over Threats

A Louisiana fire chief who was cooperating with federal authorities looking into financial improprieties associated with the previous administration has filed suit claiming his resignation last year was actually a constructive termination. Stanley Wajda served as the fire chief of the Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department for only six months. He resigned last July after receiving numerous threats from members he claims were loyal to the past fire chief.

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NY Town Sues Fire District Over Cell Tower

A fire district in New York is being sued by a town and a group of residents over the construction of a 150 foot cellphone tower on property at a fire station. The town of Warwick and several residents have filed suit to block construction of a proposed tower by the Pine Island Fire District

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Family Demands Criminal Charges in Philly LODD

Following the release of an internal investigation into the death of a Philadelphia firefighter in December, the firefighter’s family is speaking out demanding that criminal charges be filed against those in the department who were responsible. FF Joyce Craig was killed on December 9, 2014 at a basement fire where she was separated from her crew. She activated the emergency button on her radio but was not located for another 17 minutes.

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Family Seeks $11 Million from Glendale Firefighters for Assault

Here is a follow up to the story we covered last week with regards to the Glendale, Arizona firefighters who were disciplined for using excessive force against a man who assaulted them.The family of James Murillo has filed a multi-million dollar claim against the City of Glendale, Captain Sean Alford and Acting Captain Daniel Padilla, claiming the firefighters assaulted and verbally abused the mentally ill man last October.

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Combative Patients and Self-Defense

Today’s burning question: My crew was on an EMS run and the patient took a swing at us. Can we hit him back to defend ourselves? Answer: You can defend yourself, yes. If striking the patient is necessary to defend yourself, then yes you can strike the patient without being liable for battery. However, you cannot strike the patient in retaliation for him swinging or striking you, nor can you strike the patient out of frustration… even if he swung first!!!

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Buffalo Fire Argues That Four Decades is Enough

In 1974, the US DOJ filed suit against Buffalo alleging the fire department’s hiring process was discriminatory. What followed was nearly forty years of court mandated hiring quotas overseen by Judge John T. Curtin. Now the city is seeking to end the court mandated hiring quotas and bring Judge Curtin’s role in hiring to an end...

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Michigan Firefighter Sues for Wrongful Termination

A Michigan firefighter who was terminated in 2014, is suing claiming his termination violates the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Michigan’s Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act. Scott Rhodes was the Assistant Fire Marshal for the city of Dearborn. He was terminated on July 12, 2014 following a contentious divorce that spilled over into his work life...

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Fire Department Sued over Fatal Explosion

A fire department in West Virginia has been sued over a fatal natural gas explosion that claimed the life of a 13 year old girl. Hanna Mozingo was killed in an explosion that destroyed her home in Brooke County on October 11, 2013. Prior to the explosion, firefighters responded in the area for a smell of gas but cleared the scene prior to the 7:00 am blast.

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YCMTSU Alabama: Medical Helicopter Cancellation

A man who was critically injured in an ATV accident in Alabama in 2013 has filed suit in federal court claiming a fire chief and a dispatcher were in part responsible his injuries because they cancelled a medical evacuation helicopter. That concludes the only normal sounding part of the complaint that Brian Lomanack filed Monday in US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Among his shocking YCMTSU allegations...

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NJ Firefighter Claims Failure to Accommodate ADD

A New Jersey firefighter is suing his fire department and fire chief claiming they failed to accommodate his attention deficit disorder. Timothy Eosso is suing the Township of Edison and Fire Chief Brian Latham claiming they failed to adopted promotional procedures that would accommodate his disability...

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Contractor Sues for $1.6 Million in Overruns on $14 Million Fire Station

A contractor is suing a Virginia city for over $1.6 million in cost overruns associated with the construction of a $14 million fire station. Costello Construction of Maryland is suing the City of Charlottesville claiming that change orders and the city’s delays in answering 387 requests for information led to the additional costs in building the 38,000 square foot Fontaine Avenue station.

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Chief Cochran Sues Atlanta and Mayor Reed

The expected lawsuit by former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran against the city has been filed alleging wrongful termination, religious discrimination and violation of his First Amendment rights. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Chief Cochran in January after he refused the mayor’s request to resign.

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County Dispatch Center Sued Over Fire Death

A fatal fire in Madison, Wisconsin in 2013 has prompted a wrongful death lawsuit against a county dispatch center that allegedly took nearly four minutes to dispatch the call. The family of Chris Williams filed suit last week claiming that Dane County and its 911 center bear responsibility for his death on October 16, 2013.

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