Three Federal Court Settlements in the Fire law News

There are three federal court settlements in the fire law news today.

The first is the settlement of a lawsuit filed by an Ohio firefighter who lost an eye in 2008 in a fireworks accident. Despite being cleared to return to work by his doctor, Stow firefighter Anthony Rorrer was determined to be unfit for duty. He sued claiming unlawful discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Rorrer’s suit was tossed by the trial judge but reinstated by the 6th US Circuit. Rorrer and Stow reached an agreement to dismiss the suit. The terms of the settlement are not available. Here is a well done article explaining the travel of the case.

In Indiana, a law suit that appeared to have been settled may now be headed back to court. Michigan City’s Fire Chief Randy Novak filed suit against the city last year claiming that when he was the city’s fire marshal, he was required “to be on call and monitor all calls and pages 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year” unless he was on vacation, and not compensated for all his hours.

Chief Novak and the city reached a settlement, but last week the Michigan City Common Council failed to pass an ordinance that would have funded it leaving the settlement in limbo. Here is more on that complicated case.

And in Augusta, Georgia, the city is offering to settle an overtime lawsuit brought law year. The suit alleges EMT and paramedic stipends were improperly excluded from the overtime rate paid to firefighters.

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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