It appears that a settlement has been reached in two separate lawsuits arising out of the LODDs of two Buffalo firefighters in 2009.
Lt. Charles W. “Chip” McCarthy, 45, and FF Jonathan S. Croom, 34, were killed on August 24, 2009 in the basement of a commercial building. Their families filed wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown, former Fire Commissioner Michael S. Lombardo and the owners of the Genesee Street deli-warehouse.
The settlement calls for payments to the families of both firefighters totaling $4.1 million and health insurance coverage for FF Croom’s minor children. Lt. McCarthy’s children are adults. The agreement also calls for safety changes in the Buffalo Fire Department.
Attorney Thomas H. Burton, a former police officer who represents the McCarthy family, was quoted by The Buffalo News as saying: “Wrongful-death lawsuits are traditionally about money damages for surviving family members. Here, we went further and insisted on multiple safety procedures for firefighters in the future.”
Safety changes include:
- Complying with the “two in, two out rule”
- Assigning an accountability officer at “serious fires”
- Improved radios, SCBAs and TICs
The settlement does not affect the suits pending against the building owners.