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  1. #1
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    Default Kentucky Department Suing Manufacturer

    Anyone have one of these in their department?
    BY GINA KINSLOW
    Glasgow Daily Times, Ky.



    EDMONTON, Ky. -- A civil suit against a fire truck equipment manufacturer and involving a Metcalfe County volunteer fire department is pending in federal court.

    The North Metcalfe Volunteer Fire Department Inc. is suing Reberland Equipment Inc. and Firovac Power Systems Inc. for allegedly not installing a pumper tanker system correctly.

    On Oct. 1, 2008, two firefighters with the North Metcalfe Volunteer Fire Department were driving a 2006 Kenworth T300 Water Tanker Truck on Highway 496 in Edmonton while responding to a house fire. The North Metcalfe firefighters were assisting firefighters with the Edmonton-Metcalfe Volunteer Fire Department.

    As the North Metcalfe firefighters rounded a curve, the pumper tanker system separated from the fire truck, causing the driver to lose control of the fire truck, removing the roof of the cab and ejecting the firefighters. The fire truck overturned and came to rest on a roadside embankment, according to Metcalfe Circuit Court records.

    Chris Schneider, a Covington attorney representing North Metcalfe Volunteer Fire Department, declined to comment on the case other than to say, "The lawsuit speaks for itself."

    Tom Kerrick, a Bowling Green attorney representing Reberland Equipment Inc., also declined to comment, but did say, "The case is in litigation therefore I shouldn't be discussing the details in the paper."

    North Metcalfe VFD says Reberland is negligent for not mounting the pumper tanker system correctly, and it was the incorrect installation of the device that caused the fire truck to rollover causing significant damage to the fire truck and equipment contained inside.

    The fire department also said Fireovac had a duty to manufacture the pumper tanker system so as not to cause damage to the fire truck and equipment inside it.

    North Metcalfe incurred $209,338.48 in damages to the fire truck and equipment inside the truck during the wreck.

    A third party complaint was filed in federal court on Oct. 8 stating that American Alternative Insurance Corporation paid $187,000 to the fire department for its loss and damages. The insurance company also placed Reberland Equipment on notice of its subrogation rights to recover the damages and/or losses that the insurance company paid to the fire department.

    Reberland allegedly provided a warranty that stated the pumper tanker system was to be free from manufacturing defects in material and workmanship, failure of structural integrity. The fire department said Reberland breached its warranty because the incident was the result of failure of structural integrity, the court records stated.

    In answer to the civil suit, which was field Oct. 1, Reberland denied the fire department's allegations and pleaded the provisions of the Product Liability Act of Kentucky, KRS 411.300. It also denied the existence of any warranty or any breach of a warranty and further pleaded the provisions. The company further stated in its answer that if anyone was injured or anything damaged in the wreck it was due the misuse, abuse and/or substantial change of its products by someone other than the companies.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service
    Last edited by LT2387; 10-28-2009 at 06:21 PM.


  2. #2
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    Thumbs down

    well it's about time somebody got them

  3. #3
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    Got who? T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Got who? T.C.
    Looks like Firovac, which may be a subsidiary of Reberland Equipment? If my reading skills don't fail me, it looks as though the FD alleges that Firovac/Reberland failed to properly secure the tank to the chassis causing/worsening the accident?

  5. #5
    Reliance
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Looks like Firovac, which may be a subsidiary of Reberland Equipment? If my reading skills don't fail me, it looks as though the FD alleges that Firovac/Reberland failed to properly secure the tank to the chassis causing/worsening the accident?
    It looks that way reading it. But also how fast were they going around that curve in the road.

    I would be interested in how much of a curve the road had and the speed limit in the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reliance View Post
    It looks that way reading it. But also how fast were they going around that curve in the road.

    I would be interested in how much of a curve the road had and the speed limit in the area.
    No doubt there are many other factors to be considered, I was merely stating what the FD is basing their suit on. You'd like to think they have some merit to their case to get this far, but todays legal system is filled with attempts to legally pass blame.

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    Dident the tank become disconnected from the chassis? even if the driver were going to fast, the tank shouldent seperate from the chassis.

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    Default When???????

    I guess it depends on when the tank/body came off the chassis. Before the roll over or after. I'm not trying to defend the builder nor saying anything against the driver of the truck but we are only seeing one side of the story here and that is from the lawyers side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwnh View Post
    I guess it depends on when the tank/body came off the chassis. Before the roll over or after. I'm not trying to defend the builder nor saying anything against the driver of the truck but we are only seeing one side of the story here and that is from the lawyers side.
    I would hope that the expectation for the tank to stay attached was not post crash? Who knows, maybe some people failed physics? I would think it would be fairly difficult to prove the builder was responsible for ensuring the tank stayed attached in any accident, but if said accident revealed poor workmanship or things not done to basic industry standard there may be an issue?

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    "As the North Metcalfe firefighters rounded a curve, the pumper tanker system separated from the fire truck, causing the driver to lose control of the fire truck, removing the roof of the cab and ejecting the firefighters. The fire truck overturned and came to rest on a roadside embankment, according to Metcalfe Circuit Court records."

    It looks like the reported incident is that the tank/body became separated from the chassis during cornering and subsequently caused the accident. If this was truly the case, I'd think 12 people might be easily convinced that the builder was at fault. I'd don't care how fast or hard you corner I think the truck should stay together, once any contact is made with another object or the ground, the expectation gets lowered.

    Interestingly, I must wonder if the seats also were ejected or did the occupants fail to use their seatbelts?

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    I talked to the chief a few days after it happened and apparently when the mfg put the tank restraint system in they used a cutting torch to make the hole and made it way too big and as their claim is it pulled the washer through the hole causing the tank to "come loose". As you have already have said, did the run off the road and roll the truck or did they roll the truck and run off the road?

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    And therein lies my Query as I have looked extensively at the Fireovac and the mounting system which is simple but in my opinion,rugged and well built.How it was installed on this truck,I have no idea. Tanks don't just fall off unless something breaks or wasn't installed right in the first place. T.C.

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    Did they by any chance have an outside company to investigate the vehicle post accident? In many cases third party experts can often verify their claims thereby increasing the likelyhood of a victory. All Said, what was the posted speed limit? What were the weather conditions like at the time of the accident? Did anyone witness the events (View the Tank Separate)? Did the victims suffer any injuries or trauma associated with the ejection? Did anyone witness the Truck Rollover or was it a layover?

    Alot of questions have likely been asked but, as mentioned bodies don't just fall off

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