Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Department Settles Race Discrimination Suit

A lawsuit filed last year by an African American volunteer firefighter who accused colleagues of harassing him and the department with discrimination, has been settled.

Tarence Mosey filed suit last June accusing the Logan Township United Fire Department of an assortment of racially offensive and discriminatory acts that led to his demotion and ultimate termination in 2014. Mosey claims the harassment was so bad he developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

The settlement was the result of court-approved mediation that followed efforts by the department to have the suit dismissed. According to court documents, the fire department alleged Mosey improperly sued under 42 USC §1981, and was time barred from suing under 42 USC §1983. While the fire department admitted it is a privately incorporated non-profit, the fact it serves a public function makes §1983 the proper remedy.

Mosey disputed the department’s interpretation, but settlement negotiations resolved the case prior to a ruling being issued. The terms of the settlement have not been released. Here are copies of:

Fire Department’s Brief in Support of the Motion to Dismiss: 2016 MOTION TO DISMISS BRIEF

Mosey’s Rebuttal Brief: 2016 REBUTTAL BRIEF

Report of Neutral: Mosey v Logan Township REPORT OF NEUTRAL

Dismissal Order:  Mosey v Logan Township DISMISSAL ORDER

Earlier coverage, including the complaint.

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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