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Firefighter Verdicts and Settlements

No two cases are alike and one successful result certainly can’t guarantee an award in another case. However, we wanted all firefighters to be aware of the fact that there are laws that protect them from negligent conduct and dangerous conditions. For instance, if an automobile driver is negligent and a firefighter is injured attending to an automobile accident victim, the firefighter has legal recourse against the negligent driver. Moreover, if the negligent driver has no insurance, the firefighter may make a claim against his own automobile insurance company for coverage under his own Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage. Likewise, if a firefighter is injured on defectively maintained and/or poorly lit premises, the firefighter may bring a claim for his/her injuries, pain and suffering.

The following are some reported cases where firefighters were permitted to recover substantial compensation for their injuries:

  • The families of two firefighters who died in the line of duty at a Housing Authority building received $5.5 million each.
  • A lawsuit brought by a firefighter who was struck by a cab resulting in the loss of his leg was settled prior to trial for $5.1 million.
  • A firefighter who was injured when his firetruck was hit by another vehicle en-route to an emergency suffered a disabling herniated lumbar disc that left him in permanent pain and depressed after he was let go by the job. He was unable to pursue his previously active lifestyle. He was awarded $4 million by a jury.
  • A lawsuit brought by a firefighter who was assaulted by an inebriated fellow firefighter was settled during trial for $3.75 million.
  • A firefighter who required a knee replacement after a motorcycle accident died as a result of an overdose of medication following the surgery. A medical malpractice lawsuit brought by his family was settled for $2.2 million. The underlying suit against the trucking company, whose vehicle struck the firefighter, also settled for $2 million.
  • A firefighter who required several surgeries as a result of severe herniated discs in his neck following an accident involving his fire truck was awarded $2 million by a jury.
  • A firefighter who suffered bilateral hip injuries when he fell through a flight of stairs and required hip replacements settled his case for $1.5 million prior to trial.
  • A firefighter who tripped and fell due to a large hole on his firehouse’s apron received a $1.5 million settlement from the City of New York because the City was aware of the dangerous condition that existed on the apron prior to our client’s date of accident, but failed to fix it.
  • A firefighter responding to a fire that was started by squatters who were permitted to inhabit a building fell through the floor suffering injuries to his labrum, which ended his career as a firefighter. He was awarded $1.3 million by a jury.
  • A firefighter who was struck by a piece of Sidewalk Bridge that came loose settled his case for $1.3 million. The firefighter was rendered unconscious, and suffered a herniated disc in his neck as well as shoulder injuries. He required physical therapy and was forced to retired from the FDNY as a result of the injuries.
  • A firefighter who was bitten in the groin by an 80-pound dog while off duty was awarded $1 million by a jury. There was evidence that the dog had attacked people before, although the owner denied it.
  • A Fire chief suffered a knee injury at a fire that spread rampantly as a result of a non-working standpipe system. He required a total knee replacement and he received a settlement of $800,000.
  • A Queens firefighter who, while exiting his fire truck, received an electrical shock from live, unsecured wires located inside the truck. The shock caused the firefighter to twist his back, resulting in aggravation of a previous back condition. The City of New York was sued for violating a provision of New York’s Labor Law, requiring it to provide “a place of employment which [is] free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees.” $700,000.
  • A firefighter responding to a fire in a shoe store suffered a torn rotator cuff and fracture of a vertebrae in his neck as well as a herniated disc in his neck while trying to break through a wall. The fire marshal determined that the fire began in a frayed electrical cord, but the defendant disputed the marshal’s determination. The case settled for $600,000.
  • A Lieutenant with the FDNY, who sustained a right orbital fracture requiring surgery when a commercial truck failed to yield right of way to his fire apparatus. $250,000 was obtained from the City of New York, as it was claimed that the chauffeur failed to properly slow down before traveling past a red light and $250,000 was obtained from the commercial truck’s insurance company.
  • A firefighter who suffered torn meniscus to both knees, requiring surgery and the loss of his career. Our client had previous line-of-duty injuries to both knees was awarded $450,000.
  • A firefighter responding to a fire that began by the improper use of an acetylene torch tripped over debris on a roof resulting in a torn labrum in his shoulder for which he required surgery and ultimately retired from the fire department. The case settled prior to trial for $400,000.
  • A jury awarded $200,000 to a firefighter who suffered herniated discs at L5-S1 and L4-5 when her fire truck was broadsided and overturned.

Contact our knowledgeable New York attorneys for firefighter accident cases

Barasch & McGarry has a long history of successfully representing firefighters in injury cases. To make sure your rights are protected, discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable and experience trial lawyers. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.

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