Phoenix Fire Sued for $1 Million By Inmate

A prisoner with a history of filing suits from jail has set his new sights on the Phoenix Fire Department.

Samuel Louis Fuller, who resides at the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix, filed a rather unique federal lawsuit against the Phoenix Fire Department and his court appoint attorney…  at least it is unique to me…. perhaps those that handle prisoner lawsuits regularly are more accustomed to these types of complaints. On the fire-side we do not see them very often.

The pro se lawsuit filed on June 28, 2013 alleges that on October 14, 2011, Fuller was rendered unconscious by a choke-hold applied by Phoenix police officers. He claims that the responding Phoenix Fire Department personnel were “deliberately indifferent” to his well being, which resulted in “post trauma” and “nightmares.” Fuller claims the “indifference” of the firefighters violated his 14th Amendment right to due process. He is seeking $1,000,000 in damages.

The complaint also alleges that Fuller’s court appointed attorney, Diego Rodriquez, violated his 14th Amendment due process rights resulting in Fuller being incarcerated for 590 days and counting. There does not appear to be a direct connection between the allegations against PFD and Rodriguez… again, those who deal with prisoner suits probably see a lot of this kind of random pleading non-sense.

Fuller has been a busy litigator. The suit is at least the 9th that he has filed from prison.  

Here is a copy of the complaint. Fuller v Phoenix

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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