Connecticut Jury Rules in Favor of Fire District Accused of Striking Police Officer With Truck

A Connecticut jury has ruled that a local fire department is not responsible for injuries to a police officer who claims that a passing fire truck struck him in 2018 as he was directing traffic.

George Coleman was a police officer with the Trumbull Police Department. He claims that while directing traffic on February 18, 2018, a Trumbull Center Fire District vehicle struck him on his “upper right extremity” causing injuries “some or all of which may be of permanent in nature.”

Both of the firefighters aboard the apparatus denied striking Coleman. Coleman, a 30-year veteran, did not seek medical attention at the time but did file a report on the incident. He filed suit last year seeking compensation for his injuries, accusing the apparatus driver of negligence. He has since retired.

According to CTPost, a Bridgeport County Superior Court jury ruled in favor of the fire district. The Post quoted the fire department’s attorney, Michael Deakin, as saying

  • I’m grateful to the jurors who served on the case and carefully considered all of the evidence.”
  • [In his closing arguments, telling the jury:] “It’s like a movie that is so far from reality that you have to look away” [referring to Coleman’s testimony as] “unbelievable.”

Here is more on the verdict. Here is a copy of the original complaint.

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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