Nevada Settles Suit with Inmate Firefighters

The State of Nevada has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by eight inmate firefighters who claim they were mistreated while serving with the Nevada Division of Forestry. The suit was brought by the ACLU of Nevada and alleged the firefighters were subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

The seven women and one male firefighters claim they burned their feet due to unsafe work boots when deployed to work a fire in April, 2021. They claim they were “mocked and ignored” by supervisors when they complained. Among the allegations made by the inmates were:

  • Second degree burns to their feet and blisters
  • Socks melting to feet
  • Supervisors failing to provide medical care to inmates for their injuries
  • Supervisors failing to document the injuries due to not wanting to do the paperwork
  • When a sole came off a boot, a supervisor instructed an inmate to duct tape it back on
  • A supervisor telling a firefighter who was crying that she could “keep crying as long as you keep working”

The settlement of $340,000 will result in payments to the inmates of between $24,200 and $48,400. 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.

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