Maryland Male-on-Male Harassment Suit Settled

An $8 million lawsuit filed in 2013 by a paramedic firefighter who claims co-workers harassed him over his effeminate demeanor has reportedly been settled.

Zackary C. Tyndall sued the Berlin Fire Company and four supervisors, Bryon Trimble, Derek Simpson, David A. Fitzgerald and Norris P Donohue in federal court alleging they engaged in a pattern and practice of harassment based upon their perception that he is homosexual. Tyndall, who is not gay, claims he was regularly called “queer”, “faggot”, and “cocksucker” by coworkers.

The fire department characterized the conduct as “teasing” and “horseplay”, suggesting that Tyndall even played along with it. Here is earlier coverage of the suit, including a copy of the complaint.

In July, US District Court Judge Ellen Hollander refused to dismiss the case finding that Tyndall’s allegations (if proven at trial) would constitute “gender stereotyping.”

The settlement was reached last week and involved a confidential amount. Delmarvanow .com quoted one of Tyndall’s attorneys, Amy Taylor, as saying “I can state that it was resolved to my client’s satisfaction.”

More on the story.

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.

Check Also

Rochester Firefighter Claims Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination

A Rochester firefighter who claims to have been the victim of domestic violence and sexual harassment at work, has filed suit against the City of Rochester. The firefighter, identified as Jane Doe, claims that the city failed to protect her from domestic violence as required by state law and city policy, and that she was sexually harassed by coworkers at work.

Kentucky Court Concludes Board Member Testifying and Voting Violates Due Process

A Kentucky court has concluded that a fire district board member who served as an adverse witness against an accused firefighter in a disciplinary proceeding, violated the firefighter’s due process by participating in deliberations and the adjudication decision.