YCMTSU Accident Case Settled in California for $4 Million

A lawsuit arising out of a bizarre incident where a brush truck ran over a man lying on a fire station ramp in San Bernardino County, has been settled for $4 million.

According to court documents, the incident occurred on December 9, 2013, when Brandon Coles discovered Seandor Flis, “in his vehicle unconscious.” Coles “drove Flis to a fire station at 23407 Crest Forest Drive … repeated attempts to summon emergency aid, including ringing the doorbell, knocking on the door, and/or honking his car horn.”

When no one answered, Coles left Flis in front of the firehouse, covering him with a yellow blanket. He then drove to his house to call 911. During the interim, San Bernardino County Fire Protection District firefighter Timothy Schenck drove over Flis while responding to another alarm “crushing him and proximately causing him incredibly severe injuries.”

Flis survived the accident and filed suit against the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, the Crest Forest Fire Protection District, and Coles for his injuries. Crest Forest FPD was operating under a contract to provide services to the San Bernardino FPD, and has since become incorporated into it.

According to The Alpenhorn News, the settlement requires the following payments:

  • $1.3 million by the County of San Bernardino to BHG Structured Settlements;
  • $1.635 million by the County of San Bernardino payable to Seandor Flis and his attorneys, Panish, Shea & Boyle;
  • $750,000 payable to Seandor Flis and his attorneys by American Alternative Insurance Corporation; and
  • Glatfeler Claims Management under an auto policy issued to the County of San Bernardino and CFFPD;
  • $300,000 payable to Flis and his attorneys by Farmers Insurance under Brandon Cole’s homeowner’s policy; and
  • $15,000 paid to Flis and his attorneys by Geico Insurance under Brandon Cole’s automobile policy.

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

Topeka Captain Alleges Race, Disability and FMLA Discrimination

A Topeka, Kansas fire captain has filed suit alleging race and disability discrimination; retaliation; and a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. Captain Brently Dorsey claims he was passed over for numerous promotions, denied the opportunity for reassignment to positions for which he was eligible for and was ultimately forced to take an early retirement in 2022.

Michigan Fire Chief Challenges Termination

The former fire chief for Kalamazoo Township, Michigan has filed suit against the township and its manager claiming that his termination last year was improper and violated his due process rights. Fire Chief David J. Obreiter was terminated September 14, 2022, approximately one-month after a pre-determination hearing was held before Township Manager Dexter A. Mitchell.