Suit by FDNY Ops Chief Alleges Promotion Denial Violates First Amendment

An FDNY deputy assistant chief who claims he was passed over for promotion to assistant chief for refusing to renounce letters to the editor he wrote decades ago relative to merit based testing, has filed suit alleging the city violated his First Amendment rights. DAC Michael F. Gala, Jr. filed suit late last year naming the city and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro as defendants.

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Dispatch Delay Led to Woman’s Death, Lawsuit Alleges

The death of a 41-year-old nurse and mother just outside Kansas City, Missouri, has prompted a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kansas City Police and Fire Departments, according to KCTV5. Cathryn McClelland passed out in her home in Prairie Village. Her son called 911, but the call was routed to KCMO, not Johnson County.

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Winston-Salem Fire Sued For Race Discrimination

Five members of an African-American firefighter organization called Omnibus have filed suit against the city of Winston-Salem and its fire chief alleging race discrimination and retaliation. Thomas Penn Jr., Delbert Hairston Jr., Gerrod Hardy, Ricky Brown, Eddie Forest filed suit on February 11, 2021 in US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

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Terminated Philly Recruit Alleges Beard-Related Religious Discrimination

A recruit firefighter who was dismissed from the Philadelphia Fire Department’s fire academy in 2019 for refusing to shave his beard, has filed suit alleging religious discrimination. Malcolm Lindsay filed suit alleging religious discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

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Bad Week For Fire Law Headlines

While it is rare that we see good news in the Fire Law headlines, last week saw a number of particularly unfortunate headlines for the fire service. I noticed this as I was putting together this week’s Fire Law News newsletter, and searching for today’s Fire Law headline story.

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Minnesota Noose Investigation Closed

An investigation into a noose left hanging in the locker of a Bloomington, Minnesota firefighter last June has ended with without investigators being able to conclude who was responsible. The crudely tied noose was found on June 15, 2020, prompting the city to request the FBI to investigate.

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Rape Allegations Against French Firefighters Prompts Protests

Allegations of sexual misconduct against twenty French firefighters have sparked nation-wide protests by feminist groups seeking a change to the age of consent law. The case dates back to 2008 when the victim claims she was assaulted over a two-year period when she was between 13 and 15-years old.

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Court Upholds Termination of Boston Firefighter

A Massachusetts judge has rejected the appeal of a Boston firefighter who was terminated over a series a racist and homophobic social media posts. Octavius Rowe, a 15-year veteran, was fired by the Boston Fire Department on April 30, 2018 following a lengthy investigation.

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Florida Suit Alleges Slow-Understaffed Response Led to Death

The estate of a man who died on Little Gasparilla Island in 2019 has filed suit against the Little Gasparilla Island Fire and Rescue and Charlotte County alleging negligence and wrongful death. Jaimee Thompson filed suit in Charlotte County Circuit Court on behalf of the estate of her deceased husband, Craig Thompson.

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Ketamine Injection Leads to Lawsuit in Colorado

A Colorado man is suing firefighters and police officers responsible for administering the sedative ketamine during an encounter last year. Jeremiah Axtell filed suit last week naming the Lakewood Police Department, West Metro Fire District and numerous individual officers and firefighters.

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