Firefighter Claims Injuries Due To Lack of Bail Out System


A Kingston, New York firefighter injured in the line of duty last December, has filed a notice of claim stating that his injuries were the result of the department’s failure to provide him with a bail-out system.

Firefighters Thomas Metzger and Brian Renn were injured on December 29, 2012 they bailed out of the second floor window onto a porch roof, and fell to the ground because the roof was icy. FF Metzger claims his injuries were due to the  department's negligence in failing to issue personnel a bail out system.

While the story line is interesting, of even more interest is the reaction of Kingston’s  mayor, Shayne Gallo, upon reading the allegations. Please watch the video below for a little comic relief.

To understand what has transpired legally – all states have adopted laws called tort claims acts. These laws require that before an injured party can sue a governmental entity in tort, they must first file an administrative claim with the governmental agency. Such a claim is NOT a lawsuit – but it is a necessary step before someone can actually file suit.

The purpose of this step is to give the governmental agency the chance to review the allegations and possibly settle the claim before the case goes to court.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 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) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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