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Jury awards $5 million to families in fire hose accident

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by hotpig, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    Likes Received:
    Dec 1, 2000
    SW / West Central Illinois
    Jury awards $5 million to families in fire hose accident
    Friday, September 15, 2006

    By Gabrielle Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    A jury awarded about $5 million yesterday to the family of a 10-year-old Coraopolis girl killed by a loose fire hose trailing behind a fire engine, and to the family of her 10-year-old friend who was badly injured.

    As the verdict was read, Joyce A. Schmidt broke into tears, gripping an engraved image of her daughter Erin on a chain around her neck.

    Ms. Schmidt was in her yard with the two girls and was also hit with the hose on Aug. 19, 2004, as a four-man crew from the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department raced to a basement fire on Mount Vernon Avenue.

    The 6-pound nozzle caused a brain injury when it hit Erin. She died the following evening. Her friend Joeylynne Jeffress, 10, of Coraopolis, had multiple facial and head injuries. The jury of eight women and four men arrived at a unanimous decision after eight hours of deliberation.

    Several jurors hugged the deceased girl's mother and gave her their condolences as they left the courthouse.

    The jury split responsibility equally between the truck company and the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department, but officials from Freightliner Specialty Vehicles Inc. will bear the brunt of the financial burden because the fire department has a $500,000 cap on what it can pay.

    The Schmidt family was given more than $3 million and the Jeffress family received nearly $2 million.

    Alan H. Perer, lawyer for the Schmidts, and John P. Gismondi, the lawyer for the Jeffress family, said they were thrilled with the outcome.

    The National Fire Protection Association made it mandatory for engines to have a restraint to hold fire hoses in place after this incident, Mr. Perer said.


    (Gabrielle Banks can be reached at or 412-263-1370. )
  2. Dandapani


    Likes Received:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Gulf side Florida
    Sorry for the family's loss. Accidents happen. But damn. The family just won the lawsuit lottery (not to mention the lawyer's cut of the pie). Jurors grant these hoping someday, they, also, will win the lawsuit lottery. :upeyes:

  3. fireguy129


    Likes Received:
    May 31, 2001
    Northeast Pa, usa
    Yeah they won the grand prize, burying their kid. You can have my ticket.


    Oh yeah, keep your damn hose on the engine.