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Municipal Liability

Wrongful Death Alleged in West Virginia Cell Tower LODD

The death of a West Virginia firefighter by a collapsing cell tower has led to a wrongful death suit against five companies, a volunteer fire department and a fire chief. Nutter Fort firefighter Michael D. Garrett, 28, was killed on February 1, 2014 at the scene of a cell tower collapse. While Garret was removing a worker injured in the initial collapse a second tower collapsed.

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South Carolina Fire Departments Sued Over Post-Accident Altercation

A woman and her minor son are suing two South Carolina fire departments over a post-accident altercation that led to the mother and son being arrested. Julia Hyman and her son, identified in court pleadings as J.H., filed suit earlier this month against the Berkley County Sheriff’s Department, Whitesville Rural Fire Department, Whitesville Rural Fire Department Station 1, and numerous sheriff’s deputies and emergency responders.

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Mass Firefighter Sues Claiming Termination Violates First Amendment

A Massachusetts firefighter who was terminated last year for working while off-injured, has filed suit in federal court claiming that his discipline was actually retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights. Andrew Davison was a firefighter in Sandwich, Massachusetts and co-owner of Cape Cod BioFuels, Inc.

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Lawsuits Filed Between Fire Departments and Municipalities in Illinois and New York

Lawsuits between municipalities and fire departments in two states are in the fire law news today. In New York, the Champion Fire Department is suing the Town of Champion and the Village of West Carthage over the termination of its service agreement. In Illinois, the Village of Barrington filed suit against the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District claiming it owes at least $1.2 million to a joint firefighters pension fund.

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Chattanooga Fire Sued for Civil Rights Violation Following Wrongful Arrest

A Tennessee man who was arrested last January in New Orleans, Louisiana as he was boarding a cruise ship for a vacation, is suing the Chattanooga Fire Department, Fire Chief Kelvin Lamar Flint, Lieutenant Henry McElvain and the City of Chattanooga among others claiming they were responsible for instituting the charges that led to his wrongful arrest.

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RI Fire District Settles Public Records Suit for $1500

A Rhode Island fire district has agreed to pay a $1500 fine for violating the state’s public records law. The Manville Fire District was accused of failing to respond to a public records request back in 2014. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed suit against Manville to enforce the requirements of the APRA.

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Arizona Battalion Chief Cited in Fatal Accident

A battalion chief from Kingman, Arizona has been cited in the traffic death of an elderly woman last July. On July 7, 2014 Emily Jeanne MacDonald, 75, was crossing the street when she was struck by a Kingman Fire Department pickup truck driven by Battalion Chief Bill Johnston

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Arizona Not Liable to Homeowners for Property Lost in the Yarnell Fire

People in the wildland fire community will be familiar with the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013. This fire occurred in 2013 and led to the death of 19 firefighters, all members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team. Only one member of the team survived. Apart from this tragedy a number of homes were lost to the fire and homeowners sued the Arizona State Forestry Division (ASFD) claiming that the division ‘negligently failed to protect them from harm that resulted from the Fire’.

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Refusal AMA Forms in Foreign Languages

Today’s burning question: Could a medic who fails to obtain an informed refusal from a patient who does not speak English be liable? Could the fire department be held liable for not providing refusal forms in other languages?

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Lawsuit Sweepstakes at LAFD – The Lawyer’s Edition

The LA Times is criticizing the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Fire Department over what it characterizes as a new round of discrimination suits filed by attorneys who were supposed to be responsible for correcting the problems that led to a previous round of firefighter discrimination suits that date back to 2004.

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Firefighter’s Widow Sues Fire Department Over Cancer Death

The widow of a Washington state firefighter who died of cancer in 2013 has filed suit against the city claiming her husband had knowingly been exposed to radon in his fire station. Wendy Ann Murray filed suit against the City of Vancouver in Clark County Superior Court last week claiming that her husband, Carl, had been “negligently, recklessly and outrageously” exposed to radon.

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Utah Chief Sues Police Over Flawed Drug Investigation

A Salt Lake County assistant chief has filed suit in federal court against the City of Cottonwood Heights claiming that a police detective violated his rights when he accessed confidential medical information about him from the State of Utah’s Controlled Substance Database, and used the information to file unwarranted criminal charges.

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Oregon Widow Seeks $4.2 Million Over Defibrillator Failure Death

A widow has filed a $4.2 million suit against an Oregon fire department, an ambulance service, and the manufacturer of a defibrillator blaming them all for the death of her husband who suffered a fatal heart attack last year. Diana Ricks filed suit against Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Metro West Ambulance Service and Physio-Control, Inc. over the February 13, 2014 death of Stephen A. Ricks

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