Subscribe to feed
Fire Service and Public Safety Legal Issues Blog by Curt Varone
Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

Philadelphia Fire Prevails in Disability Discrimination Suit by Cadet

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 18:28
The Philadelphia Fire Department has prevailed in a lawsuit brought by a paramedic cadet alleging he had been discriminated against on account of his physical disabilities. Chase Frost claims he was prevented from starting an academy in 2015, and wrongfully terminated from a second academy 2016
Categories: Legal

Fire Victims’ Family Seeks $2.2 Billion from New York City

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 20:16
An attorney representing the daughter of a woman who died in a fire along with her five children, has filed a claim with the city of New York for $2.2 billion alleging the city did not do enough to protect them as residents in a public housing project. Attorney Evan Oshan filed the claim on behalf of Raven Reyes, the daughter of Andrea Pollidore.
Categories: Legal

Chicago Fire Prevails in Discrimination Suit

Sun, 06/16/2019 - 18:02
The Chicago Fire Department has prevailed in a lawsuit filed by a Hispanic firefighter who claimed he was the victim of a hostile workplace. Last Friday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted a summary judgment to the city in a suit brought by Firefighter Ricardo Gomez
Categories: Legal

Zipper Clauses, Past Practices, and Discipline Prior to Exhaustion of Appeals

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 20:29
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, First Appellate District has upheld a grievance arbitration decision that found that a fire department breached a collective bargaining agreement when it imposed discipline before an employee’s administrative appeals have been exhausted. The case involved William Tillett, who was a lieutenant with the Anderson Township Fire Department.
Categories: Legal

Two North Carolina Firefighters Fired Over Facebook Post

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 19:30
Two Brevard firefighters have been fired over a social media post that criticized the city manager for wearing a military uniform to a memorial day parade that was a mix of two different branches. Former firefighter Richard Carl Travis shared a photo of Brevard City Manager Jim Fatland on Facebook along with the comment...
Categories: Legal

Niagara County Back In, Fire Company Remains Out Of Cadaver Suit

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 23:25
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of NY has reinstated Niagara County in a lawsuit brought by the family of an accident victim whose body tissue was given by a coroner to a local fire chief for use in training cadaver dogs. At the same time, the court upheld the dismissal of a volunteer fire company from the same suit.
Categories: Legal

Firefighters Suit Claims Creation of Public Safety Director Position is Illegal

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 20:01
Firefighters in Weirton, WV have filed suit against the city claiming the creation of a new public safety director is illegal and retaliation for the fire chief’s public statements about a staffing shortage. Fire Chief Jerry Shumate, who is subject to civil service protection, told the city council the fire department is understaffed
Categories: Legal

Morgantown Firefighters Sue Over Holiday Pay

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 19:58
Fifty-eight members of Morgantown Firefighters IAFF Local 313 filed suit last week in Monongalia County Circuit Court, claiming the city has not been paying them for holiday pay in accordance with state law.
Categories: Legal

LA County Groin Kick Suit Results in No Liability

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 17:08
The Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court ruling that a Los Angeles County fire captain who kicked one of his firefighters in the groin while demonstrating a self-defense move is not liable for the harm the resulted. The facts of the case are quite involved and go back to 2011.
Categories: Legal

2020 Edition of NFPA 1710 Released

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 17:54
The 2020 Edition of NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments, has been released by the NFPA Standards Council. The 2020 Edition contains several noteworthy changes. To address concerns about when NFPA 1710 applies compared to NFPA 1720, a definition of a career fire department was added
Categories: Legal

Illinois Widow Sues Fire Department For Lost Sick Time

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 18:59
The widow of an Illinois firefighter who died of cancer in 2017, is suing the fire department he worked for to recoup the value of the sick leave he was forced to take while incapacitated due to his medical condition. Joliet Fire Department Lieutenant Scott Carroll died on July 29, 2017 of myxoid liposarcoma. He became unable to work and thereafter was forced to use his accrued sick leave.
Categories: Legal

Pink Collar Theft in Mississippi VFD

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 17:28
The treasurer for a volunteer fire department in Mississippi has been indicted on embezzlement charges. Sandra “Carlene” Statham was the treasurer for Friendship Volunteer Fire Department. She is accused of writing checks to herself totaling $35,772.23.
Categories: Legal

Trial Court Rules Against Utica Fire Chief’s Disability Claim

Sun, 06/02/2019 - 16:19
For a relatively small city, the City of Utica, New York has seen more than it’s fair share of fire law headlines in recent years. The Utica Fire Department is once again in the headlines with word that New York State Supreme Court Judge Patrick McRae has ruled against Fire Chief Russell Brooks, who is seeking 9-11 related disability benefits for his leukemia.
Categories: Legal

Illinois Firefighter Injured in Ammonia Spill Files Suit

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 19:26
An Illinois firefighter is among five people suing the driver and owner of a tractor trailer responsible for an anhydrous ammonia leak last April. Thomas Stall of the Beach Park Fire Department was one of 11 firefighters injured in the incident.
Categories: Legal

Arson Charges Dismissed Against Two NY Firefighters

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 22:00
Arson charges against two volunteer firefighters from the Central Islip Fire Department have been dismissed following a lengthy trial that raised a number of troubling question about how the case was investigated. Judge John Collins dismissed the charges against Stephen Hernandez and Weldon Drayton.
Categories: Legal

Colorado Fire District Settles Suit With Retirees for $1.2 Million

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 19:55
The West Metro Fire Protection District has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit with 74 of its retired members for $1.2 million. The suit alleged that the district had improperly terminated a retiree health trust fund that firefighters had paid into during their tenure on the department.
Categories: Legal

Another FDNY EMT Challenges Hiring Age for Firefighters

Mon, 05/27/2019 - 20:02
An EMT with FDNY who was denied a firefighter’s position due to his age, has filed suit alleging age discrimination. Daniel P. O'Donoghue filed suit earlier this month naming FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and the City of New York as defendants. O'Donoghue filed the suit pro se in US District Court.
Categories: Legal

NJ City Sued For Reverse Discrimination by Firefighter Candidates

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 15:05
Nine prospective firefighters who were offered jobs with the City of Englewood, New Jersey have filed suit claiming the last minute decision to withdraw the job offers constituted breach of contract and reverse discrimination. The candidates were given conditional job offers by the city, and completed all of the prerequisites to start the fire academy on April 15.
Categories: Legal

Burning Question: Who Controls Grievances and Remedies

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 21:32
Today’s burning question: When proposing a remedy to a grievance in a collective bargaining workplace, does the grievant have full discretion to demand whatever he/she believes is an appropriate remedy? Answer: The grievance belongs to the union, not the individual member.
Categories: Legal

Eliminating Technical Rescue Services and Liability

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:04
Today’s burning question: If a department eliminates a technical rescue discipline due to liability concerns and a technical rescue incident occur, could those responders be accused of nonfeasance? Answer: The direct answer to your question is yes, responders could be accused of nonfeasance. I think your real question is whether they could be liable and the answer is probably not…
Categories: Legal