Twitter Buttons

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Contra Costa County Firefighter Widow Settles Wrongful-death Lawsuit

WIDOW OF CALIF. LODD FIREFIGHTER RECEIVES 4.6 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT

The widow of 1 of 2 Contra Costa County Firefighters who died in the Line of Duty in a 2007 house fire will receive $4.6 million to settle her wrongful-death lawsuit against two security companies she blamed for mishandling the initial report of the blaze. (See below for the NIOSH and the CCCFD's Reports-both identifying all the factors related to the double LODD Fire)

The fire killed Fire Engineer Scott Desmond, 37, and Capt. Matt Burton, 34, in the Line of Duty. It also killed the home's residents, Delbert Moore, 67, and his wife, Gayle, 62.

The family sued saying Pinnacle Security of Utah and its subcontractor Security Associates International of Illinois were to blame for the Firefighter's death.

When the fire started, early on July 21, 2007, Security Associates received an automatic alarm from the home. A company employee activated a two-way intercom at the home and asked, "Is everything OK?" Gayle Moore responded, "No, we have a fire."

The employee then called the Contra Costa County FPD on a non-emergency line and said, "I'm calling to report a fire alarm," as opposed to the actual fire. That led the fire dispatcher to consider it a lower-priority call. At one point, the alarm company was put on hold for 5 minutes while the dispatcher answered emergency calls.

It was nearly 10 minutes after Mrs Moore spoke to the alarm company before Firefighters were dispatched to the scene, a single engine was initially dispatched, with Desmond and Burton aboard.

Pinnacle Security will pay $2.6 million and Security Associates International will pay $2 million. The companies will pay an additional $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the Moores' children.

Burton was a 10-year veteran of the FD, and Desmond had served for 8 years. They were the first Firefighters in the Contra Costa district's history to be killed in the Line of Duty. The fire was caused by a cigarette.

 More information:
NIOSH FIRE LODD Report: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face200728.html
Summary of the CCCFPD INTERNAL REPORT (Media Summary): http://tinyurl.com/4gk7cjq
Info on the lawsuit settlement from the local media: http://tinyurl.com/4l5q3fu
News Article: www.contracostatimes.com - Link

Twitter links

-
****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags
---------------------
CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO TOP OF CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS HOME PAGE