Fireman Sues for $750,000
Walter J. Hauck, Rochester, N. Y., fireman who was critically injured fighting a fire July 3, 1953, has filed a Supreme Court action for $750,000 said to be the largest amount ever demanded involving injuries to one person in the history of Monroe County, N. Y.
Suit was brought against Domenic W. Roncome of Irondequoit, N. Y., who with Mary Spaccasi was the operator of the Speaker’s Furniture Co. on State street, alleging that volatile and flammable substances were stored in the premises and tlie second floor windows boarded up, confining the flames and causing an explosion in the walls of the building.
Other defendants were: The Rochester Poster Co., owners of large advertising signs placed on the roof of the building, the weight of said signs being one of the causes of the collapse of the retaining walls; the Genessee Brewing Co. and the Kraft Food Co. of Rochester, the latter two firms had signs on the structure.
Hauck alleges permanent injuries and will never walk again or be able to use his limbs. For many months he was forced to lie in a crib face downward, his neck encased in a spinal brace.
His attorney is Edward M. Edenbaum, New York City, counsel for the International Association of Fire Fighters. Counsel reportedly said that the City of Rochester had already spent more than $70,000 in hospital costs for Hauck, who had more than 17 operations in Rochester and New York hospitals.
Hauck, 31, was on a ladder on the roof of the building at 532 State street when a wall collapsed pinning him under tons of debris. He had been a member of the Fire Bureau only five days when injured.
Hauck spent more than two years in a New York City hospital where he was visited at times by fellow firemen and others interested in his case. He presently is a wheel chair patient and is still receiving therapy treatments.