Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Union Time-Off as Constitutional

The Texas Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Austin Firefighters IAFF Local 975 in a suit brought by self-proclaimed government “watchdogs” who alleged that granting union officials paid time off violates the Texas Constitution. The suit was brought in 2016 by two Austin residents with the support of two watchdog groups.

Read More »

11th Circuit Rejects Cobb County Firefighter’s First Amendment Claims

The 11th Circuit has ruled that a firefighter who was disciplined for calling an elected official to complain about apparatus being out-of-service, was not engaging in protected speech. Cobb County firefighter Scott Millspaugh filed suit last year claiming his demotion was retaliation for his having called Commissioner Keli Gambrill.

Read More »

Fire Law Roundup for November 21, 2022

In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for November 21, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss the $242k settlement of a lawsuit filed by a Buffalo firefighter who was fired for using medically prescribed marijuana, the indictment of a Texas fire ...

Read More »

Texas Chief Arrested by FBI

A Texas fire chief who was planning to retire at the end of the year has been arrested by the FBI and charged with stealing pension funds. Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger was arrested at Dallas Fort Worth Airport as he returned from Las Vegas.

Read More »

Man Accuses Los Angeles City Medics of Malpractice

A man who claims he was improperly treated by Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics, has filed suit claiming they administered medications that caused him permanent injuries. The man, identified in the complaint as John Doe, filed suit pro se in Los Angeles County Superior Court naming the City of Los Angeles, the two medics, and the hospital to which he was transported.

Read More »

Court Rejects Whistleblower Claims of Terminated Captain

The California Court of Appeals has ruled that a whistleblower-qualifying complaint raised for the first time during a disciplinary proceeding, can serve as a basis for whistleblower protection, but that it was not the reason why fire captain Sean Olguin was terminated from the Hollister Fire Department. As a result, the captain’s appeal was denied.

Read More »

Fire Law Roundup for November 14, 2022

In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for November 14, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss the impact of the Massachusetts Human Resource Division to cancel all upcoming fire promotional examinations; a wildland firefighter who drove a US Forest Service engine ...

Read More »

YCMTSU Kansas City Fatal Accident Case Takes New Turn

An additional lawsuit has been filed over the Kansas City fatal apparatus accident, this time by the apparatus driver, IAFF Local 42, and the plaintiffs in the three prior lawsuits, claiming the city is responsible for the $32 million judgment that was awarded against the apparatus driver. There is a lot to unpack with this one as a high stakes strategic chess match is underway.

Read More »

Too Many Fire Law Headlines

It seems like each week I am only able to scratch the surface of the fire law news. This week is no exception, but I wanted to point out two additional noteworthy cases. The first involves the settlement of the city’s portion of the Kansas City, Missouri fatal apparatus accident case. The second case involves another firefighter being arrested while engaged in the performance of his duties by an overzealous cop.

Read More »

Massachusetts Cancels Promotional Exams for Fire Departments

Fire departments in Massachusetts are in an uproar after the Human Resource Division of the state’s civil service system announced a cancellation of all promotional testing following a ruling by a Superior Court judge that a promotional exam administered to police officers was discriminatory.

Read More »