Family Claims Fire District Failed To Stop Harassment Resulting in Suicide

The family of a California fire department mechanic who took his own life in 2022, is suing the fire department for failing to prevent the harassment that pushed him to the brink. Trenton Jennings committed suicide in the parking lot at Station 17 of the South Placer Fire District.

Following his death, the family discovered text messages related to the harassment. They hired a private investigator who learned that a “known problem employee” had been harassing Jennings. After an unproductive meeting with the department to discuss the harassment and the problem employee, the family opted to file suit against the fire district earlier this year.

According to ABC10, the suit alleges wrongful death and failure to prevent harassment. A copy of the complaint is not available, but here is news video coverage. A copy of the complaint will be posted here when it becomes available.

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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