1. #1
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    Default Pennsylvania Fire Dept Sued Over Alchohol Use

    BLANDBURG - Reade Township Volunteer Fire Company is being sued for serving alcohol to two motorists later involved in a double fatality.

    The fire company contends the freak accident was caused by the negligence of the first driver who set off a chain of events leading to the two deaths.

    A Blair County motorcyclist and his female passenger were killed instantly when the cycle hit a low-slung cable after another vehicle struck a utility pole.

    The victims were Gerald Whitaker, 31, of Tyrone, and Andrea Lynn Turner, 23, of Blandburg.

    The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. on July 6, 2003, on Route 865, north of Blandburg in Reade Township.

    State police said an SUV driven by Linda Glasgow of Fallentimber went out of control while rounding a curve. The vehicle ran off the road and struck the pole, causing a cable wire to become suspended over the road.

    Within minutes, the motorcycle came upon the scene and ran into the wire. A van then struck the wire and flipped onto its side, but its driver and passengers were not hurt.

    Glasgow and the three passengers in her SUV were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

    Glasgow was charged with drunken driving, careless driving and two counts of reckless endangerment.

    A lawsuit was filed Monday by Turner's parents, Lucille R. and Gary Turner, administrators of their daughter's estate.

    The Turners named Glasgow and the Whitaker estate along with the fire company as defendants. They will have 20 days to respond after being served a copy of the civil action.

    In an earlier lawsuit, Evelyn Whitaker, administrator of Gerald Whitaker's estate, named Glasgow and the fire company as defendants.

    Glasgow did not immediately return a telephone message left through her family seeking comment.

    According to the lawsuits, Glasgow and Whitaker attended a party late July 5 and early July 6 at the Reade Township fire hall and consumed alcoholic beverages while there.

    "Glasgow, while under the influence of alcohol, left the party in her vehicle ... (which) failed to negotiate a turn," Indiana attorney Jason Matzus claims in the Turner lawsuit.

    Glasgow and Whitaker were negligent for operating their vehicles while intoxicated to a degree that rendered them incapable of safe driving, Matzus contends.

    The fire company, which should have known they were intoxicated, allowed them to drive from the party, according to the suit,

    Whitaker's lawsuit, filed by attorney Christopher Fleming of Greensburg, blames the fire company and Glasgow.

    The fire company, in an answer to the Whitaker lawsuit, said it lacked specific information on the allegations and is asking "for strict proof at trial," Hollidaysburg attorney Edward Zang said.

    Zang contends there was contributory negligence by Whitaker in the accident.

    But, Zang also maintained the accident was caused by the negligence and recklessness of Glasgow.

    In the Whitaker lawsuit, Johnstown attorney Dennis Stofko has placed $100,000 - the liability limits on Glasgow's auto insurance - on deposit with the court.

    Stofko, who represents Glasgow's insurance carrier, said the money is to be used to pay all claimants, either under an agreement among all parties or by order of court.

    The lawsuits were filed in Cambria County Court, Ebensburg.

    This puts a new, and worrisome spin on the topic of alcohol and the fire service. Does your insurance cover this??
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  2. #2
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    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...955#post464955

    A rather frustrating discussion on alcohol already in progress, with this incident brought up as well.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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    As usual, heaven forbid anyone take responsibility for their own actions.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    This puts a new, and worrisome spin on the topic of alcohol and the fire service. Does your insurance cover this

    Speaking in general terms, this will be determined by the situation.

    "Attended a party"

    -- Was this a Fire Department "Awards Banquet" type function where alcohol was provided for free? (covered under general liability insurance, unless the policy says otherwise)

    -- Was this a hall rental where the FD provided the bar and bar tenders? Then they probably needed something like "Dram Shop Insurance" to go along with the liquor license.

    -- Was this a hall rental with a Bring-your-own-Booze policy, in which case the Fire Company probably has little liability...but probably the biggest insurance policy. A/K/A "Deep Pockets." Depending on State Laws, they may end in a situation like, "Well, you're only 5% responsible, but as the parties 95% responsible only had $250,000 in insurance, you got to kick in the other $750,000 since you can afford it."
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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    ditto nm..............
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Hate to say it but if its true they deserve it.
    Acohol should never be allowed at any type of Fire Dept.
    Function, Period.

  7. #7
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    I echo nm's statement

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    Originally posted by nmfire
    As usual, heaven forbid anyone take responsibility for their own actions.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  9. #9
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    of course not, it's the American way, blame someone else because of your stupidity. hence the reason we have so many lawyers
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  10. #10
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    We don't know the facts.

    I just know that's not the type of headline I'd want in the paper about my department.

    It is a crime in many states for establishments to serve alcohol to people if it is apparant that they are already impaired (fall-down-drunk, etc). It's irresponsible to keep feeding a drunk beer, just as it's irresponsible for the drunk to then get in a car and drive.*Added*: I'm not saying that is what took place... just sharing the information since "responsibility" was brought up.

    I certainly would never want to risk going through something like this.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-24-2004 at 06:29 PM.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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  11. #11
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    Exclamation It's not a difficult fix

    I just know that's not the type of headline I'd want in the paper about my department
    Quite simply, if you're in the firefighting business, get out of the alcohol business. I know some people will say that that's the only way they have to make money. For the sake of your department, find alternative funding. How many times do we have to hear about this kind of incident before we institute a real "zero tolerance" policy?
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

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