Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Legal


Issue 01 and Volume 166.

By John F. “Skip” Coleman, Technical Editor No one should dispute the fact that the United States is becoming a more litigious society. When I first came on the job, the term “sovereign immunity” was the norm, simply meaning that the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is therefore immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution. This changed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Toledo was involved in a legal case in the mid-1980s that has become a landmark case in the legal industry. This fire involved the Willis Day Storage Company: A 15-acre warehouse burned down in one very long evening and morning. I personally went through eight breathing air bottles at that fire before we exhausted our entire city supply. Even with the increase in lawyers and lawsuits, we still do some pretty “simple” (“simple” as in absence of forethought as opposed to easy)…

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