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Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Union Time-Off as Constitutional

2 days 8 hours ago
The Texas Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Austin Firefighters IAFF Local 975 in a suit brought by self-proclaimed government “watchdogs” who alleged that granting union officials paid time off violates the Texas Constitution. The suit was brought in 2016 by two Austin residents with the support of two watchdog groups.
Curt Varone

11th Circuit Rejects Cobb County Firefighter’s First Amendment Claims

3 days 6 hours ago
The 11th Circuit has ruled that a firefighter who was disciplined for calling an elected official to complain about apparatus being out-of-service, was not engaging in protected speech. Cobb County firefighter Scott Millspaugh filed suit last year claiming his demotion was retaliation for his having called Commissioner Keli Gambrill.
Curt Varone

Fire Law Roundup for November 21, 2022

4 days 14 hours ago
In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for November 21, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss the $242k settlement of a lawsuit filed by a Buffalo firefighter who was fired for using medically prescribed marijuana, the indictment of a Texas fire chief accused of stealing from the firefighters’ pension fund, a suit by a man who ...
Curt Varone

Buffalo Settles Medical Marijuana Suit With Firefighter for $242k

5 days 8 hours ago
A lawsuit filed by a Buffalo firefighter who was fired for using medically prescribed marijuana, has been settled for $242,000. Scott Martin, a 12-year veteran of the department, was terminated on February 23, 2021. He is also an Air Force veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Curt Varone

Texas Chief Arrested by FBI

1 week 1 day ago
A Texas fire chief who was planning to retire at the end of the year has been arrested by the FBI and charged with stealing pension funds. Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger was arrested at Dallas Fort Worth Airport as he returned from Las Vegas.
Curt Varone

Man Accuses Los Angeles City Medics of Malpractice

1 week 2 days ago
A man who claims he was improperly treated by Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics, has filed suit claiming they administered medications that caused him permanent injuries. The man, identified in the complaint as John Doe, filed suit pro se in Los Angeles County Superior Court naming the City of Los Angeles, the two medics, and the hospital to which he was transported.
Curt Varone

Court Rejects Whistleblower Claims of Terminated Captain

1 week 4 days ago
The California Court of Appeals has ruled that a whistleblower-qualifying complaint raised for the first time during a disciplinary proceeding, can serve as a basis for whistleblower protection, but that it was not the reason why fire captain Sean Olguin was terminated from the Hollister Fire Department. As a result, the captain’s appeal was denied.
Curt Varone

Fire Law Roundup for November 14, 2022

1 week 4 days ago
In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for November 14, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss the impact of the Massachusetts Human Resource Division to cancel all upcoming fire promotional examinations; a wildland firefighter who drove a US Forest Service engine company to what he thought was a rendezvous with an underage girl and ended up ...
Curt Varone

YCMTSU Kansas City Fatal Accident Case Takes New Turn

1 week 5 days ago
An additional lawsuit has been filed over the Kansas City fatal apparatus accident, this time by the apparatus driver, IAFF Local 42, and the plaintiffs in the three prior lawsuits, claiming the city is responsible for the $32 million judgment that was awarded against the apparatus driver. There is a lot to unpack with this one as a high stakes strategic chess match is underway.
Curt Varone

Too Many Fire Law Headlines

2 weeks ago
It seems like each week I am only able to scratch the surface of the fire law news. This week is no exception, but I wanted to point out two additional noteworthy cases. The first involves the settlement of the city’s portion of the Kansas City, Missouri fatal apparatus accident case. The second case involves another firefighter being arrested while engaged in the performance of his duties by an overzealous cop.
Curt Varone

Massachusetts Cancels Promotional Exams for Fire Departments

2 weeks 1 day ago
Fire departments in Massachusetts are in an uproar after the Human Resource Division of the state’s civil service system announced a cancellation of all promotional testing following a ruling by a Superior Court judge that a promotional exam administered to police officers was discriminatory.
Curt Varone

California Sexual Predator Sting Nets Firefighter Driving Engine

2 weeks 2 days ago
A wildland firefighter with the US Forest Service has been arrested as part of sexual predator sting operation in central California. Mark McGill Jr. was arrested when he arrived in a Forest Service engine to what he thought was a rendezvous with a teenage girl in Fresno County.
Curt Varone

11th Circuit Upholds Ruling in Favor of Miami Dade Fire Rescue and Three Firefighters

2 weeks 3 days ago
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling in favor of the Miami Dade Fire Rescue and 3 firefighter paramedics accused of negligence and deliberate indifference in their response to a medical run in 2019. Diana Cluff and Jacqueline Beaz filed suit accusing the medics of delaying their response, falsifying reports, and failing to attempt to resuscitate their father, Gustavo Beaz.
Curt Varone

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Transgendered Fire Chief

2 weeks 4 days ago
The US Supreme Court has refused to consider the appeal of a transgendered fire chief from Georgia, leaving in place a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the city. Fire Chief Rachel Mosby was fired by the City of Byron shortly after she revealed that despite being born a male she identified as a female.
Curt Varone

Fire Law Roundup for November 7, 2022

2 weeks 4 days ago
In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for November 7, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss a $32 Million award against a Kansas City firefighter personally for causing a crash that killed three people last December, discipline for two Denver firefighter for their roles in a botched death pronouncement of a woman who was still alive, ...
Curt Varone
2 hours 11 minutes ago
Fire Service and Public Safety Legal Issues Blog by Curt Varone
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