NJ Hearing Loss Case Removed to Federal Court

A hearing loss case filed earlier this year by 34 New Jersey firefighters has been removed from state Superior Court to US District Court at the request of Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.

The case was brought by the firefighters against American Lafrance, LLC, d/b/a American LaFrance-L TI and/or American Lafrance Aerials; Federal Signal Corporation; Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corporation; Mack Trucks, Inc.; Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.; and Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC claiming the defendants are responsible for their hearing loss as a result of repeated exposure to siren noise.

The complaint lists four counts, as follows:

Count I – Product Liability under New Jersey Law against the apparatus manufacturers

  1. Defective design, manufacture and inadequate testing
  2. Failure to Warn
  3. Breach of implied warranty

Count II – Negligence against the apparatus manufacturers

Count III – Strict liability against Federal Signal

Count IV – Negligence against Federal Signal

The firefighters worked in the City of Elizabeth, City of Linden, City of Bayonne, City of Kearny, Township of Union, Village of Ridgewood, Cranford and West New York.

Here is a copy of the complaint: Alvarez v American LaFrance

Here is the removal notice: 2015 12 4 Removal

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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