Seattle to Pay $12.75M to FF Hurt in Fall Through Pole Hole

A former Seattle firefighter who suffered career-ending injuries in a fall from a fire pole hole has been awared $12.75M.

The Washington  Supreme Court ruled Thursday they were upholding the award verdict of a  King County jury, The Seattle Times reported.

On Dec. 23, 2003, Mark Jones awoke in a dark bunk room at the Seattle Fire Department’s Station 33.  He walked through the wrong door while looking for the restroom and fell through a fire-pole hole to the concrete floor below, the paper reported quoting court documents.

He was knocked unconscious suffered a head injury, 10 broken ribs, fractures to several vertebrae and his pelvis, and lung, bladder and liver injuries, reporters wrote.

Jones sued claiming  his injuries resulted from negligence by the city and the department for failing to install a proper guard around the fire pole, or the door that led to it.

City lawyers showed the court a video secretly filmed showing Jones playing horseshoes, chopping wood and playing with a ball. When a Superior Court judge upheld the jury's decision, the fire department and city appealed to the state court.

The city told reporters Thursday they were disappointed with the ruling.

Jones' attorney, Todd Gardner, said: “Mark is a good person, he is an Air Force veteran, a former police officer and a [former] firefighter. He’s unbelievable in terms of service to our community..."