TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A federal report released this week list several factors that it says contributed to the death of two firefighters, Privates Steve Machcinski and Jamie Dickman, back in January of 2014.
So what could this mean for the City of Toledo? Could they face any repercussions because of the NIOSH report and errors that were made during that fatal fire?
According to Attorney Jerome Phillips the report will not have any huge impact on the city. He says that's because the city has some protections in place or immunity to certain situations like these.
“The death was a result of an employment situation, the fireman were on the job and died as a result of that. So I'm not sure that there would be any additional liability on the city's part,” said Phillips.
Phillips says the city is immune from being liable because of a statutory designation, where certain parties, like the city, are immune from certain acts.
“In this particular case, I think the city likely has immunity for any action for this alleged negligence if you will,” said Phillips.
Phillips says because of immunity, families of the victims will likely not file a civil suit against the city.
“I doubt it, I don't know that they would have any right to go forward with any litigation. That is whether they could overcome the immunity of the city and even if they did, my opinion is that likely their resources have been directed towards compensation through workman's compensation, etcetera,” said Phillips.
Phillips believes the whole reason for this report is for training and education purposes, to help find out what happened, what led to this tragedy, and what the department can we do to prevent this from happening again, not to place blame.
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