Chicago Firefighters Lose Hearing Loss Case

A jury in Cook County, Illinois has ruled in favor of Federal Signal Corp, and against 8 Chicago firefighters in the latest round of law suits against the siren maker over hearing loss.

Following a two week state court trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours last Tuesday in reaching a unanimous verdict in favor the Federal Signal. The firefighters alleged that the Federal Q sirens were negligently designed, dangerously defective, and caused their hearing loss.

The suit was the third in the past few years between Chicago firefighters and Federal Signal. In 2008, 27 Chicago firefighters sued Federal Signal and lost. In 2009, nine firefighters sued and won a $425,000 judgment. That verdict is currently under appeal.

In January, Federal Signal reached a settlement with 1,125 firefighters, represented by attorney Joseph Cappelli, in connection with hearing loss claims by the firefighters from a number of locations. That settlement amount was $3.8 million.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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