Family Of Man Struck By Chief’s Vehicle Sues

The family of a man who was run over and dragged by a Georgia battalion chief at the scene of a shooting is suing the city for their emotional harm. Germayne Farrell was shot and killed in a shootout between rival motorcycle clubs, the Outcasts and Thug Riders.

The incident occurred on May 13, 2023. The Augusta Fire Department responded, and for reasons that are not entirely clear, Battalion Chief Gregory Hartshorne ended up running over Farrell’s body, dragging it 50 feet. The video embedded below provides more details on the incident.

The lawsuit filed by the family is not your typical lawsuit in that it does not accuse Chief Hartshorne or the city with wrongful death or harm to Farrell. Rather, it acknowledges that Farrell was deceased at the time he was struck by Chief Hartshorne, but nonetheless seeks damages for the family’s emotional harm.

The suit accuses Chief Hartshorne of acting recklessly, negligently, with gross negligence, and with willfully and wantonly. Here is a copy of the complaint and the city’s answer:

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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