Two Cleveland Firefighters Sue over Honor Guard Injuries

Two Cleveland firefighters who were injured while a serving as part of an honor guard have filed suit against three parties they claim are responsible for an ammunition mixup that led to live grenade-launching rounds being mixed in with blank cartridges.

John Shea and Timothy Leahy were injured on May 6, 2013 when the rifles they fired as part of an honorary salute exploded causing injuries to their faces. The men were participating in a graveside service at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in conjunction with the American Legion.

Named as defendants in the suit are Army Joint Munitions Command, Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, and Orbital ATK. According to the suit, the defendants are responsible for causing grenade launching rounds to be mixed into a box containing blank cartridges.

Shea and Leahy have retired from the fire department, and seek compensation for personal injuries and lost wages.

Here is a copy of the suit: Shea v Army Joint Munitions Command

More on the story.


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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