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Fire Service and Public Safety Legal Issues Blog by Curt Varone
Updated: 2 hours 23 min ago

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to False Alarm Fee Ordinance

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 19:49
A local ordinance that imposes fines against alarm companies for repeated false alarms has been upheld by a federal court in Georgia. The suit involved an ordinance enacted in 2017 by the City of Sandy Springs that created a fee schedule for alarm companies whose customers transmitted false alarms to the police or fire departments.
Categories: Legal

Indiana Chief Named in Wrongful Arrest Suit

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 20:32
An Indiana fire chief has been named in a federal lawsuit accusing several local officials of false arrest, malicious prosecution, tortious interference with a contract, and violations of the 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments. The suit was filed by Kristopher Bilbrey naming the City of Westminster, Police Chief Richard Tucker, Assistant Police Chief Jon Reed, and Fire Chief Gary Moore as defendants
Categories: Legal

New Haven Firefighters Prevail in Dispute With State Association

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 20:44
A Connecticut Superior Court judge has ruled that New Haven Firefighters IAFF Local 825 successfully disassociated itself from the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, Inc. and is not liable for dues after January 1, 2017. The parties have been at odds for several years with Local 825 alleging it was not a member of the UPFFA, and the UPFFA claiming it was.
Categories: Legal

PA EMT Arrested For Sexting Underage Patient

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 20:28
A Pennsylvania EMT is facing criminal charges for sending inappropriate electronic content to an underage female patient. Joshua Patterson is accused of sending a sexually-explicit photo of himself to a 15-year-old girl he treated after an accident on November 15, 2018.
Categories: Legal

Georgia Firefighter Sues For Age Discrimination

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 18:13
A 55-year old Georgia firefighter is suing his department accusing supervisors of trying to fabricate allegations against him and forcing him to resign earlier this year. Anthony Galvin filed suit last week in US District court accusing the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department of a single count of age discrimination.
Categories: Legal

Michigan Fire Department Seeks Sanctions in Discrimination Suit

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 15:34
A discrimination suit by a Cuban American firefighter in Warren, Michigan has taken an unexpected turn as attorneys for the city have asked a federal judge to dismiss the suit or sanction the plaintiff-firefighter on the eve of trial. Jose Suarez filed suit last year claiming he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment ...
Categories: Legal

Mississippi Firefighter Sues Over Race Conscious Hiring

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 11:10
A white firefighter in Mississippi has filed suit against his home town claiming that he was passed over in the hiring process despite being the only applicant who was already certified as a firefighter, so that the city could hire black applicants even though they were not certified. Dylan Shane Davis filed suit last week in US District Court against the City of West Point
Categories: Legal

Burning Question: Searching Cars and the Fourth Amendment

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 17:05
Today’s burning question: We have a battalion chief who insists on searching cars at vehicle accidents, for mainly for drugs (legal or illegal). He will literally search it like a police officer would. Is this BC violating the patient’s rights and is he breaking the law?
Categories: Legal

Fired Maine Chief Sues Seeking Reinstatement

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 20:49
A fire chief who was terminated after bringing complaints about the town manager to a town selectman has filed suit challenging his dismissal. Former Ogunquit fire chief Mark O’Brien filed suit in York County Superior Court challenging his termination by Town Manager Patricia Finnigan
Categories: Legal

Lawsuit Against FDNY Over Dispatching Error Reinstated

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 11:03
A NY Supreme Court judge has reinstated a lawsuit against FDNY over a dispatching error to a drowning incident in 2014. The suit had been dismissed in 2016 because the mother of the victim failed to file a notice of claim with the city in a timely manner. The victim, a four-year-old girl, fell into a backyard swimming pool and was discovered floating unconscious. Her father, an emergency room physician, initiated CPR while others called 911
Categories: Legal

Oregon Firefighter Acquitted On Junior Program Sexual Abuse Charges

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 17:32
A former Oregon firefighter who was accused of sexually abusing a junior firefighter when she was 14 and 15, has been acquitted of all charged. Carlos Villa-Garcia was acquitted yesterday on one count of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse.
Categories: Legal

Austin Firefighter Sues City and Peeping Lieutenant

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 20:16
The Austin firefighter who was victimized by a voyeuristic lieutenant who secretly filmed her, has filed suit naming him and the city as defendants. Kelly Gall filed suit accusing the city of being aware of prior complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior by Lieutenant James Baker and failing to take sufficient measures.
Categories: Legal

Gender Reveal Explosion Video Released Following Arizona Wildland Plea

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 21:07
After several re-reads of the headline, I still could not quite grasp what the story was about. It wasn’t until I watched the news video that I realized what occurred. An off-duty Border Patrol agent fired a rifle at an explosive target during a gender-reveal party sparking a massive wildfire.
Categories: Legal

Texas Whistleblower Suit Removed to Federal Court

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 21:12
A whistleblower lawsuit filed earlier this year by a fired Texas firefighter, has been removed to federal court. Todd Anthony Foust was terminated last year by the City of Corinth and the Lake Cities Fire Department. He claims that he was terminated in retaliation for complaints he made about firefighters using tobacco products as well as complaints he made about his captain.
Categories: Legal

$15.5 Million in Damage Claims Filed In Bellingham Intubation Case

Sun, 11/25/2018 - 16:28
Three claims totaling $15.5 Million have been filed by family members of a man whose body was used to practice intubation skills in a Bellingham, Washington firehouse. The body of Bradley Ginn Sr. was at a Bellingham fire station awaiting pickup to be delivered to a funeral home. Personnel used his body to practice endotracheal intubation skills.
Categories: Legal

Jury Awards LA Firefighter $2.75 Million For Retaliation

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 17:16
A veteran LA City firefighter who claims he was ostracized after complaining about the way the city’s dive team was being run, has been awarded $2.75 million for retaliation by a superior court jury. Stephen Meiche claims that after he reported that dive team members had improperly destroyed and discarded property bought with federal UASI funds, he was “ostracized".
Categories: Legal

Philadelphia and IAFF Local 22 Prevail in Suit by Terminated Firefighter

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 20:20
A Philadelphia firefighter who was terminated following his second conviction for driving under the influence, has lost his civil suit against the city and Philadelphia Firefighters IAFF Local 22. Andrew Addeo was fired on September 28, 2015, following his arrest and conviction earlier in the year. Addeo had previously been charged with DUI in 2012.
Categories: Legal

Georgia Firefighter Loses Sexual Harassment Suit

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 20:43
A Marietta, Georgia firefighter not only lost her sexual harassment lawsuit, she was ordered to pay the city’s costs in an order handed down last week. Former Lieutenant Margaret Richardson filed suit last year alleging sex discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Categories: Legal

Omaha Sued Over Fire in Dentist’s Office

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 15:23
The Omaha Fire Department is facing a pro se lawsuit filed by a prisoner who was accused of setting a dentist's office on fire in 2016. Alphonso Vernell Fraizer, II filed suit last week in US District Court claiming he is the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy to frame him for setting the fire by his ex-wife and the dentist who whom she works.
Categories: Legal

Orange County Fire Rescue Sued Over Murder-Suicide

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 16:34
Orange County Fire Rescue along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are facing a negligence lawsuit brought by the son of a woman who was murdered last year. Juanita Childs-Hughes died in a murder suicide perpetrated by her husband, Taylor Hughes. Childs-Hughes was on the phone with dispatchers reporting smoke in the building when she was shot.
Categories: Legal