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NYC Firefighter Attorneys Litigate Smoke Inhalation & Asphyxiation

Skilled representation for acute injuries and delayed onset illnesses

For many fire victims and firefighters, the smoke is far deadlier than the flames. Advances in firefighting equipment have reduced the risks of smoke inhalation and asphyxia, but firefighters still must face that ever-present danger. If you or a loved one has been injured due to smoke inhalation, the attorneys at Barasch & McGarry are here to help. Our team has more than 100 years of combined legal experience, much of which we’ve devoted to obtaining compensation for injured firefighters.

Actions for negligence under General Obligations Law §11-106 and General Municipal Law § 205-a

Under General Obligations Law § 11-106, a firefighter injured in the line of duty as a result of someone’s negligence has a right to sue to recover compensation from the wrongdoer. If, for example, a landlord has failed to correct hazards, such as blocked exits or cluttered hallways, delaying a firefighter’s exit from the building, the landlord will be liable for the firefighter’s smoke inhalation injuries. Because these acts also violate the New York City Building Code, the firefighter would also have a claim under the very generous statute enacted to protect firefighters, General Municipal Law § 205-a.

Lawsuits for defective breathing equipment

The most important piece of equipment a firefighter has to combat smoke is the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). If the SCBA fails to perform, the injured firefighter may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer. If the equipment has been poorly maintained, any action would have to be against the fire department itself.

Disability due to job-related illness

The effects of smoke inhalation can also be cumulative. Over the course of a career, or during retirement, a firefighter can develop respiratory ailments such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). When the symptoms of occupational illness present, we help afflicted firefighters obtain the disability benefits they deserve.

Compensation and benefits for post-9/11 illnesses

If your respiratory problems are related to work you performed at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, you can seek compensation and benefits under the Zadroga Act. Our firm has been in the forefront of the fight for first responder benefits, and we maintain a post-9/11 illness website exclusively devoted to this work.

Contact our experienced attorneys for smoke inhalation injuries

Historically, the courts have treated exposure to smoke as an assumed risk for firefighters. Fortunately, the law has evolved and courts today recognize firefighters’ rights to sue when a legal violation or negligence caused the injury. However, to get the compensation you deserve, you need experienced legal counsel that has fought and won firefighter injury cases. To learn how Barasch & McGarry can help, schedule a free consultation. Call us at 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.


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