Firefighter’s Parents Sue for Wrongful Death

- Joseph Condeni

The parents of a Cincinnati firefighter who died in the line of duty 7 years ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the house that burned, and the maker of radio equipment used by the deceased firefighter. The fire started in the basement of a house where a marijuana plantation was later discovered.


Firefighters Rule


The trial court issued summary judgment in favor of the owner of the house, following the Firefighters Rule. Under this doctrine, a homeowner can only be held liable for firefighter’s injury or death if the harm was due to the wilful or wanton misconduct of the homeowner.


The deceased firefighter’s parents are now arguing that the fire started in a room where orchids were raised, adjacent to a concealed room containing marijuana plants. They propose that the orchid room was built without the appropriate construction permit. They also maintain that the exhaust fan started the blaze and that the orchid room was a subterfuge for the illegal marijuana plantation next to it.


This link provided the argument that the firefighter’s death was caused by the homeowner’s willful or wanton misconduct, an important requirement for the Firefighters Rule not to apply.


Claim Against Radio Maker


The plaintiffs also sued Motorola, the manufacturer of the radio system used by the deceased firefighter at the time of the incident. They maintain that the radio equipment’s defective design prevented their firefighter daughter from transmitting crucial calls during the fire and from ordering her team to charge hoses with water. In particular, a small red emergency button was too recessed to use with gloves and prevented their daughter from pressing it with her gloved hands. The case is still pending in court.


Wrongful Death Claim


If a family member is involved in an accident resulting in death, you and other surviving heirs may be entitled to wrongful death compensation under Ohio tort law.


Section 2125 of the Ohio Revised Statutes defines wrongful death as one resulting from a wrongful act, neglect or default of another person or party. It is in the nature of a personal injury suit that can be brought by another party allowed by law to file the claim for personal injury on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and other surviving family members.


In Cleveland, Ohio, the attorneys at Condeni Law, LLC, “A Voice for the Injured”, have obtained the AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a prestigious recognition given to select U.S. law firms.


We can help by obtaining the best and appropriate recovery through a settlement, mediation, or jury trial. We invite you to call us anytime for a free consultation at (216) 771-1760 to discuss your claim.