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  1. #1
    robbie Guest

    Angry fire fighter suing

    I just read the article about the ff who is going to sue a homeowner. I think that is **** poor on his part to do such a thing. I wonder who told him that being a ff was all fun and games and there was no risk involved.I hope he loses his ***** in court.His workers comp. payed off and he got some other payment for something.When it comes a day that a ff can sue a homeowner for stuff such as this its a dont say a lot about the fire service. People like this guy shouldn't even be in the fire service he's just looking for a free ride.Look at all the times us True fire fighter's went home with cuts,bruises,and no telling what else after a day at work and the only thing we wanted was to get back to work and do it all over again.Thanks for letting me vent on this matter. Tell me what you think on this stupid law suit.

    let me just say that this is my opinion and does not reflect the opinion of my dept.or anything else, i would hate to get sued for telling how stupid i think this person is.

  2. #2
    FFTrainer Guest


    I'm going to have to agree with you. Our cities and departments are insured for these exact reason - hence "Worker's Comp." Based on the article, this guys worker's comp picked up his medical expenses so I don't see how he can be suing to recover them.

    I think it is something we accepted when we took our jobs. There is an inherent 'unknown' that we face at every job, and the risk of injury or God forbid death comes with that unknown. If this fire was indeed accidental in nature, then I am embarrassed for this FF that he would take legal action to recover expenses that appear to have already been repaid. Had this been flat out Arson, then I may feel different since that would definitely be negligence.

    I don't know, it is always hard to comment from the outside looking in on a lot of these situations, but this sure does look like a reminder of what a lawsuit happy society we live, work and play in!! I suppose his partner will sue now claiming mental anquish from watching his partner blow out his knee????

  3. #3
    robbie Guest


    I agree if it was arson it would be a different story. He should have expected to find a mess in a shed, just look at all of the sheds, garages, and any other places we use to store stuff in its a mess. Everyone including us firefighters we just open the door and throw whatever it is in it and where ever it lands is where it stays until we need it again.Like you said before firefighting aint a "pretty boy's" job it does have risk involved.

  4. #4
    iwood51 Guest


    This is appalling. Certainly not what I would expect from a 'brother'. I hope he loses in court, and that he has to pay the homeowner's legal defense fees.

  5. #5
    woody1973 Guest


    I would also have to agree, I find it hard to believe that a ff would do something as obsurd as to sue a homeowmer. However I wasent there and dont know the full story on what happened so its hard to imagine what could have happened to make the ff think he had a justifiable suit against the homeowner. Like i said I wasent there and dont know but it sounds to me like he was working to hard trying to put out a structure that wasent worth saving(i.e. no life threatening situation) wasent watching where he was going and tripped over something. Like I said I wasent there.

    these are just my opinions take them for what they are worth

  6. #6
    NCRSQ751 Guest


    I hope his department boots him. This will be damaging to his department as well as to the rest of us. Can you imagine the attitudes? We are supposed to be the ones they call for help, not to get sued - now they must feel like they are up against a wall.... damned if they do, damned if they don't. What next?

    Susan Bednar
    Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  7. #7
    comwhite Guest


    Let me come at this from another angle. I don't necessarily think that what the firefighter has done is justified, however I do feel that somewhere down the line property owners are going to have to take some responsibility for irresponsible acts. Here, in Florida, we're well aware of how fast fire travels and the damage it does to anything in its path.

    Only last month, someone decided to burn some yard trash on a windy day. The fire got away from him, and before it could be brought under control, it had burnt four mobile homes, two vehicles, and two barns. The man could be charged, and probably was, and have to pay for the firefighters time on the scene, and a fine. If the county is getting paid for firefighter's time, why shouldn't the firefighter get that money?

    I get so angry with ignorance, and it's ignorant to start a fire you can't control, and endanger the lives of firefighters and neighbors. Do I think the firefighter should sue? Maybe not, but it doesn't bother me that someone should sue them for negligence.

    Sorry, just my opinion, and I'm not a firefighter, but I am a homeowner and taxpayer.

  8. #8
    mike021 Guest


    it's poo man. it's a sad day when firefighters sue. kinda makes me wanna say no i'm not a firefighter. hopefully he get kicked out of the fire service. and he pays the poor homeowner's legal bills, then they turn around and sue his ***. just my thoughts.

  9. #9
    FFTrainer Guest


    I too, like most on these forums, am a homeowner and a taxpayer myself however I still do not agree. How as a taxpayer you can agree with the practice floors me. Taxpayer's money in some shape or form contributed to this FD's or city's workers comp program. The program paid out the expenses and now on top of it this guy wants more from one of his 'taxpayers'??

    I have a scar on my wrist from a bus fire a couple years ago from over extending myself to get a trapped passenger off. Should I sue the driver for hitting black ice and being negligent by crashing the bus creating a fire that has left me with scars that I see everytime I check the time on my watch? Maybe the passenger for failing to get off the wrecked, flaming bus therefore making me go in and get them?? NO, I accept the responsibility of my job. I attempt to restore order to the horrific chaos an accident creates in a civilian's life and if along that path, I get injured, then HELLOOOOOOO worker's comp. It's what it's there for.

    Accidents happen to the best of us. It happened to this guy in Texas and now on top of that he is being sued by one of the FF's who hurt his knee because the guys shed was not neat and tidy. Whatever?!?! I disagree with the whole thought let alone following through on the act of filing the lawsuit?? If you want to file a lawsuit, file it against the county or whoever, for allowing open burns for the removal of leaves, trash, etc. It is a dangerous practice! They happen in my county too so I am not preaching from up on my high horse, but I still disagree with the practice due to the simple fact that once lit, a fire has the perpetual potential for disaster until it is completely extinguished.

    Just a thought. Seems a little heated, but it's not, just in the mood to type!!

    Stay safe! and check you're homeowner's policy. Make sure your covered in case one of your town's FF's decides to sue you for leaving your lawnmower in the middle of your shed floor for him to trip on.

  10. #10
    comwhite Guest


    "I too, like most on these forums, am a homeowner and a taxpayer myself however I still do not agree. How as a taxpayer you can agree with the practice floors me. Taxpayer's money in some shape or form contributed to this FD's or city's workers comp program. The program paid out the expenses and now on top of it this guy wants more from one of his 'taxpayers'??"

    You're absolutely right, taxpayers dollars do pay for the fire department, they keep the fire department going. I never said I agreed with what this fire fighter was doing. I believe I said there are instances where it would serve the property owner right if he was sued.

    The example I gave and the example you gave are very different. Accidents happen, such as the bus accident you described. Ignorance, on the other hand, occurs when a property owner sets fire to a brush pile in an open field full of dead winter mulch, in the middle of a drought. The fire gets out and destroys other properties. That taxpayers ignorance came at a cost that could for all intents and purposes been avoided.

    I don't know the circumstances surrounding the event that occurred in Texas, but my guess is there's more to the story than you and I know. It's very possible, especially if it's a small town, that this stems from personality. It's also possible that the man who started the fire had been warned. I don't know, and won't try to justify it. I will say I do believe there are times when a property owner should be held accountable for their stupidity.

  11. #11
    jdm2267 Guest


    According to the article, the FF suit is based around the homeowners negligenc. "NEGLIGENCE" is defined as "failure to exercise a degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence (a reasonable person) would exercise under the same circumstances." Couldn't you apply negligence to about 90% of fires that occur? Aside from acts of God (lightning, volcanoes, etc), aren't most fires attributed to negligence. Would a "reasonable person" use gasoline to light his fireplace, or light up a cigarette while their oxygen mask is on? Most fires (and resulting FF injuries or deaths) can be blamed on someone's negligence. How is this incident different? Again, we are basing our opinions on a small article, so if someone has more insight the information would be appreciated. This suit should open some eyes.

  12. #12
    klingerjr33 Guest


    ok...obviously everyone is against the firefighter thats suing. now could someone please tell me what the hell he is suing for. you guys just started complaining and didn't state what he is acually suing for.
    sorry didn't mean to vent there.

    Robert A. Klinger, Jr.
    Junior FireFighter

  13. #13
    FFTrainer Guest


    Comwhite -- just wanted to let you know I wasn't directing my comments at you. Your POV just started my gears in another direction so I felt the need to spit it all out there. I will agree with you on the scenario you describe as being negligent. I guess we can apply it to the Forest Service guy in New Mexico last summer as well since he did what he was advised not to do. The fact that there are people who do not see the impact of their decisions is one of the biggest reasons I am opposed to open burns to clear brush and trash.

    Klinger -- to bring you up to speed, you can take a look at the article that started this. It was on the front page of this morning. I attached the link below.

  14. #14
    Halligan84 Guest


    comwhite - You are correct about open burning being negligent, it could also be criminal!

    If the property owner's action is in violation of the fire code or a local ordinance, penalize him and go after the costs of suppression.

    Another question, in NJ we are covered under workers comp, an injured vol in our company was paid as a career firefighter (quite a raise for him) due to an on duty shoulder injury. Do other states treat their vols this way?

  15. #15
    dvfd48r6 Guest


    I am a volunteer firefighter in a town which still gives no compensation for us, we to this job out of a desire to help ALL the people of our community. We accept the risks and do our job. I think this lawsuit is a disgrace to the fire service

  16. #16
    comwhite Guest


    One of our firefighters was recently injured on a call. Workmans Comp took care of his hospital/doctor bills, and his regular job took care of his time off. They didn't have to, but felt because he was fighting a fire when it transpired, they would do it.

  17. #17
    comwhite Guest


    Here's a twist on the subject at hand. A deputy is called to a burglary. The owner of the business is standing there as the deputy goes into the building to check out inside. He neglects to tell the deputy that in the backroom is a bad dog. The dog bites the deputy requiring several stitches and time off work.

    Who should pay for his bills, and loss of wages?

  18. #18
    AVF&R452 Guest


    Just Thinking,

    Why do we assume that all hazards are simply "part of the job"? A policeman, the milkman, the mailman, the FedEx guy delivering a package, or your next door neighbor can hold you liable for an injury resulting from falling down a flight of stairs due to a broken hand rail. A firefighter investigating an alarm malfunction, however, is expected to accept this as simply part of the job with no legal recourse. While I understand that the hazards and risks of actual firefighting are inherent to the job, I don't think that the property owner should get a pass on the normal responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.

    Just my opinion,


    [This message has been edited by AVF&R452 (edited 02-17-2001).]

  19. #19
    MFD52 Guest


    Oookaay... This one has touched an exposed nerve!

    I think that this is just another symptom of the sad path that this country as a whole is headed down. There is a huge majority of people who are not willing to accept responsibility for their own actions(stupidity?)any more. The "I'm a victim and someone is going to pay!" mentality really p***es me off! When someone can't recognize the possible hazards of their surroundings and act accordingly, they should NOT be engaged in that particular type of employment or activity to begin with!

    I don't care who you are, there is an inherent risk to just getting out of bed every day. Who are you gonna sue if you trip and fall over your pants that you left on the floor last night?

    I don't know how heavily involved in fire the shed this guy was injured in (the news story doesn't make it clear), but when was the last time any of us entered a burning/burnt stucture and found everything neat and tidy?

    I just think this guy should have excercised a little more care when he was poking around in there thinking what could possibly be in his way. Regardless of what he injured himself on, he should have known that those conditions can exist anywhere and taken precautions.

    I don't think this will reflect positively on the fire service as a whole, just as I think this blackens the eye of any entity that has one of it's members take this course. Yes, if it is an outright case of negligence, he may have a beef, but this instance doesn't sound as if it makes the grade.

    These comments and opinions are my own and in no way reflect the views and policies of my department.

    [This message has been edited by MFD52 (edited 02-17-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by MFD52 (edited 02-17-2001).]

  20. #20
    LisbonTrainingOfficr Guest

    Red face

    I think it really sucks when you have to look for a way out of a job... Keep in mind that as a firefighter you represent half a million people who sacrifice thier time and effort for thier neighbor. What if that neighbor wasnt carless in thier actions, we would be out of a job. Suck it up its your job is what he should be told.

  21. #21
    DOG 4035 Guest


    I'm not posting on this case, but in general.....
    If a firefighter is killed or seriously injured (career ending),they or their survives should have the RIGHT too sue. Just because we are firefighters we shouldn't except that we get killed or maimed for life and not have the right.

    "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." STAY SAFE,STAY LOW

  22. #22
    RJE Guest


    First, this society is becoming entirely too litigious. A lawsuit should not be your first recourse.

    Now, why has it become that way?

    Now for my story. A homeowner has a fire. FD on scene tries to enter home and finds it a "maze" inside. Most rooms are stacked, floor to ceiling, with old newspapers. Rooms, hallways, everywhere. We're talking HUGE fireload, excess weight load on floor joists, precarious stacks in danger of falling over, you name it.

    Once we were certain the homeowner was out, we went defensive (chief deemed it too dangerous to operate inside). This guy was going to sue us for letting "his house burn down". The county counter-sued - for reckless endangerment, plus code violations (something about running an illegal storage facility, I think ).

    We won, but he never had to pay anything. It seems he was "mentally disturbed". Like we couldn't tell you that when we opened his front door!

  23. #23
    BFD 210 Guest


    This is ridiculous and undermines our credibility.
    This could cause homeowners to hesitate calling us because they are afraid of getting sued.
    If he could'nt see his feet he should of been on the floor anyway and that would have prevented his injury from ever occuring, but I guess he was too lazy.
    This guy should have stuck to running his medical calls and stayed out of the firefighting business.

  24. #24
    ffkiwi Guest


    The person (notice I do not use the terms- firefighter)involved in this legal situation makes me sick.
    The first thing I was ever taught as a firefighter was to be alert and looking for any possible obstructions in the fire scene.
    I am sure this is what all ff's are taught.
    I feel it was his negligence that caused this incident.
    I also feel that this person is seeking a free ride.
    If I am running and I trip over the curb because I did not respond to the obstacle properly. Am I going to sue the city saying they are the ones responsible? Of course Not.
    Get Over it.

    We go in when others are getting out!

  25. #25
    firefighteranne Guest


    I guess I don't feel there is enough specific information in the article to form a strong opinion either way.

    I do find the lawsuit, and the ensuing arguments in this forum, interesting.

    What especially intrigues me is how some condemn the firefighter for not taking responsiblity for his own actions, yet, readily forgive the homeowner for not taking responsibility. Shouldn't the same standards be appied to both?

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