Dallas Staring Down The Barrel of a $4 Billion Suit

The City of Dallas is staring down the barrel of a $4 billion lawsuit filed 22 years ago by firefighters and police officers who claim they were shortchanged on pay raises. The lawsuit, filed in 1994, is the longest-running lawsuit currently in the Texas court system. It accuses the city of reneging on pay-raise requirements passed in a 1979 referendum.

According to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings: “In 1979, citizens wanted to give firemen and police officers a raise. They did not plan on it costing 4 billion dollars.” According to WFAA there are now over 10,000 plaintiffs to the suit, which is headed to trial next spring.

The suit comes down to the interpretation of three words: “shall be maintained”.

Here is a link to extensive news coverage of the suit from WFAA, lasting over 6 minutes. We were unable to embed it here.

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.
x

Check Also

Hotel Owners Sue Fire District and Fire Marshal Over Closure

The owners of a California hotel have filed suit against a city, a fire protection district, a building inspector, and a fire marshal claiming they unlawfully “red tagged” the building resulting in economic damages in the millions. The owners filed suit against the City of Anderson, Anderson Fire Protection District, city building inspector Brad Hawkins, fire marshal Steven Allred alleging a violation of their constitutional rights.

Fire Law Headlines: New York and Miami-Dade Follow-Up

There are two cases in the Fire Law headlines today, both being follow-ups of cases we covered previously. In New York, the Supreme Court for Oswego County has ruled that individual taxpayers lack standing to challenge a tax increase imposed by a fire district.