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Municipal Liability

Illinois Firefighter Suspended After Making Sexual Harassment Complaint

An Illinois firefighter who filed additional sexual harassment allegations against her department last week, has been suspended. Country Club Hills firefighter Dena Lewis-Bystrzycki was suspended last week, allegedly after she spoke with reporters about the updated pleadings she filed in an ongoing sexual harassment suit against the city.

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Texas Chief Sues for Wrongful Termination and Defamation

A Texas fire chief who was terminated for allegedly overspending his budget, has filed suit alleging wrongful termination and defamation. Fire Chief Landon Smith was terminated earlier this month by the City of Van Alstyne because he allegedly overspent the fire department's budget by $180,000.

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CA Supreme Court Rules Officer’s Personal Notes NOT Subject to Personnel File Disclosure

The Supreme Court of California has handed down an important decision interpreting the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act in regards to a firefighter’s right to know about negative comments entered into his personnel file. The case was brought by an Orange County firefighter who claimed that his captain had been keeping daily notes his performance in violation of a provision in the FPBOR Act.

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Paterson Settles Equal Pay Dispute

The City of Paterson, New Jersey has settled the claims of three civilian fire inspectors who alleged the fact their compensation was less that uniformed fire inspectors violated state and federal law. James DiMaria, Samuel Gaita, and Michael Poventud accused the city of violating the New Jersey Wage Payment Act and the federal Employee Retirement Income Securities Act of 1974.

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Asiana Airlines Crash Suit Against SFFD Dismissed

The wrongful death suit against the San Francisco Fire Department arising out of the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in July, 2013, has been dismissed. The parents of 16 year old Ye Meng Yuan filed the suit last year. Yuan was allegedly written off as dead as SFFD began foam operations. The suit claimed that her body was struck by two San Francisco Fire Department vehicles.

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Patterson Settles Retaliation Suit With Dispatcher For $80k

A New Jersey dispatcher who sued the Patterson Fire Department in federal court over harassment he sustained after reporting misconduct by two firefighters has received an $80,000 settlement. Robert Connizzo claimed that co-workers harassed, assaulted, and retaliated against him for informing superior officers about a conversation he overheard on a recorded line.

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Jury Awards Indiana Medic $233,500 for Disability Discrimination

A fire department paramedic who was terminated after experiencing four diabetic low-blood sugar episodes at work over a two-year period, has prevailed on a disability discrimination suit in US District Court in Indianapolis. Kristine Rednour worked for the Wayne Township Fire Department as a paramedic from 2009 to 2011

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California Apparatus Collision Results in $15 Million Settlement

A 53-year-old California man who was severely injured when two fire trucks collided as he was waiting to cross the street, has agreed to settle his claims for $15 million. Kenneth Thai was waiting to cross the street on April 16, 2014 when a ladder truck from the Alhambra Fire Department collided with an engine from the Monterey Park Fire Department, causing the engine to strike Thai and continue into a restaurant.

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Indiana Sues Former Chief To Recover Missing Funds

The state of Indiana filed suit today against a former fire chief who is accused of embezzling nearly $60,000. Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller’s office filed suit against former Speedway fire chief Mark Watson seeking to recover the taxpayers' money.

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Michigan Chief Sues for Wrongful Termination

A Michigan fire chief who was wrongly accused of criminal misconduct and terminated, has filed suit against a township alleging defamation, malicious prosecution, and retaliation for testifying in an earlier case. Marquette Township fire chief Bob Sims was suspended last December and terminated in February, 2015.

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Albuquerque Fire Investigating Why Dispatcher Hung Up on Caller

The Albuquerque Fire Department is investigating a firefighter who allegedly hung-up on a frantic 911 caller because the caller swore at him while CPR instructions were being given. Albuquerque firefighter Matthew Sanchez was working in the dispatch center when a caller reported that Jaydon Chavez-Silver, a 17 year old high school student, had been shot.

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Wrongful Death Suit filed in Detroit Failure To Act Case

The refusal of a Detroit EMT to respond to a home where an infant was not breathing has led to a wrongful death suit by the infant's mother. On May 30, 2015 EMT Ann Marie Thomas parked her unit on a street corner away from the scene while waiting for other units to arrive, an act her supervisors referred to as “depraved indifference”.

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