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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Question Arson suspect sued

    Interesting...to say the least...

    RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - A man already facing arson charges in two
    apartment house fires now is being sued by the city's insurance
    company, which says the blazes damaged a fire truck.
    Robert Vandriel has pleaded innocent to setting the fires in May
    of 2005, which destroyed an apartment and badly damaged another
    building across the street.
    Now the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Property and Casualty
    Insurance Fund has filed suit in Rutland Superior Court against
    Vandriel.
    Court records say Vandriel told police he admitted setting the
    two fires after drinking beer and taking drugs.
    The lawsuit says Vandriel "negligently or intentionally" set
    the fires and that heat from them caused $56,168 in damage to a
    city fire truck.
    The insurance company paid the city that amount, minus a $500
    deductible. It is seeking to recover its payment, plus interest and
    court costs.
    The suit says heat from the fires damaged the city fleet's
    largest ladder truck, Engine 1, melting seals on the front axles,
    breaking the windshield and another window and burning out its
    electronics.
    The truck was out of commission for six weeks, and was repaired
    in Pennsylvania, where it was made.
    "We're really not involved" in the lawsuit, city Fire Chief
    Robert Schlachter said, "other than the fact I'm sure we'll be
    called to testify if it winds up going there."
    Vandriel, who is being held at the Rutland jail on $25,000 bail,
    could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted of both arson
    counts.
    ---
    Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 10-24-2006 at 03:58 AM.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Good! They should go after these scumbags for restitution of any damages caused as a result of their actions.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    .......................
    Last edited by Chauffer6; 10-24-2006 at 04:29 AM. Reason: double post!

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJFFSA16
    A man already facing arson charges in two
    apartment house fires now is being sued by the city's insurance
    company, which says the blazes damaged a fire truck.
    Robert Vandriel has pleaded innocent to setting the fires in May
    of 2005, which destroyed an apartment and badly damaged another
    building across the street.
    IANAL, but don't you have to be found guilty of the criminal case before you can be subject to the civil one? How can you sue someone for damages caused by something they haven't been convicted of doing yet? Don't get me wrong, if he's guilty go after him for everything he's got. It just seems a little premature.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJFFSA16
    The suit says heat from the fires damaged the city fleet's
    largest ladder truck, Engine 1, melting seals on the front axles,
    breaking the windshield and another window and burning out its
    electronics.
    The city's biggest ladder is Engine 1?
    Last edited by voyager9; 10-24-2006 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Fix formatting

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=voyager9]IANAL, but don't you have to be found guilty of the criminal case before you can be subject to the civil one? How can you sue someone for damages caused by something they haven't been convicted of doing yet? Don't get me wrong, if he's guilty go after him for everything he's got. It just seems a little premature.


    Just ask OJ. He wasn't convicted but they still won in civil court.

    Larry

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    IANAL, but don't you have to be found guilty of the criminal case before you can be subject to the civil one?
    Nope. You don't even have to be charged to face a civil suit.

    As REVANANT pointed out, OJ was acquitted of murder but still found responsible in a civil trial.

    The burden of proof in a civil trial is much lower than what is required to get a criminal conviction. In a criminal action, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil court usually all you have to prove is a prepondernace of the evidence. In other words, 'this guy most likely did it' won't cut it in a criminal trial but could be good enough in a civil suit.

  7. #7
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    Default Not at all

    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    IANAL, but don't you have to be found guilty of the criminal case before you can be subject to the civil one? How can you sue someone for damages caused by something they haven't been convicted of doing yet? Don't get me wrong, if he's guilty go after him for everything he's got. It just seems a little premature.
    In fact, it isa good deal easier for the insurance company to win the civil case than it is for the state to win the criminal case. The reason is something called the "standard of proof". In a criminal case, the standard of proof is guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt",while in the civil case "preponderance of the evidence" will do.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Anyone want to bet the first person called to testify will be the driver...and the first question asked...."Why did you park so close as to burn your firetruck?" Second question...."Aren't you trained to keep your apparatus safe?". And then a bunch of "experts" from around the country will be called to testify about safe parking distances and crap...all "theoretical" of course and not real world practices.

    Sad part is, the Insurance company will lose....and then sue the driver of the truck for endangering it.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    If the fire was hot enough to do that much damage to the truck, I have to wonder about the integrity of the equipment ON the truck.
    Bonesy: the lawyer won't stop at suing the driver of the fire apparatus.
    They'll sue the training officers, the drivers' license bureau, the chief of the department, the trustees of the department, the apparatus manufacturer for defective paint, the city for narrow streets and last of all , he'll sue the firefighter's parents for HAVING him!
    K-ching!
    CR
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Anyone want to bet the first person called to testify will be the driver...and the first question asked...."Why did you park so close as to burn your firetruck?" Second question...."Aren't you trained to keep your apparatus safe?".
    I was wondering if I would read that! I have seen people park to close to fires before, that's why we have insurance, for when bad things happens.

    Here's the next big question if he is convicted and is in jail how is he gonna pay back the damages? if you figure it up, let's say while he is in jail he does do the work around there, and let's say he is working at minimum wage, let's see that would take almost 11,000 hrs ( or almost 459 day's of working 24 hrs. a day!!!) of work just to pay back the damages!

  11. #11
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    The city's biggest ladder is Engine 1?
    I do believe "Engine 1" is a quint. Vermont doesn't have the financial basis to afford dedicated trucks and engines even if the tax payers would support it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Sad part is, the Insurance company will lose....and then sue the driver of the truck for endangering it.
    Not going to happen. Can't really get into it, but the driver won't (or moreso can't) be held responsibile for it. Stems from a lawsuit and legislation in the early 90s.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
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