Nebraska Family Suing Fire Department Claiming Negligence

Nebraska Family Suing Fire Department Claiming Negligence

News Dec 10, 2012

The family of a Scottsbluff man killed in a fire earlier this year intends to pursue a wrongful death claim against the City of Scottsbluff and its fire department.

Scottsbluff attorney Maren Chaloupka, representing the Estate and family of Salome (Sal) Blanco Sr., notified the city of the Blanco’s tort claim on Nov. 26. The council formally accepted the tort claim during its meeting Monday.

Sal Blanco, 92, died in a fire at his home at 1715 Fifth Avenue on Jan. 6, 2012. Officials said he died of smoke inhalation.

Blanco’s wife, Ramona, escaped the blaze.

Three fire departments battled the blaze, which destroyed the Blanco home and damaged a neighbor’s home. Nebraska Deputy State Fire Marshal Mike Turner said the cause of the fire was traced to ashes deposited on a back porch. The ashes, which were from a fireplace, were hot and burned through a container.

In the letter, the Blancos allege that firefighters were unreasonably delayed in responding to the fire and were inadequately equipped.

“More likely than not, he (Blanco) would not have suffered and died as he did had the Scottsbluff Fire Department met the appropriate standard of care in its response to the fire.”

The Blancos indicate that they are seeking damages and offer a settlement proposal of $1 million.

Chaloupka asks in the letter: “For each person reviewing this letter who questions whether that amount is excessive, I would ask him or her: What would you think is a fair price for dying in terror and pain and fear in one’s own house?”

Chaloupka told the Star-Herald that is the maximum amount that the family is allowed to pursue under state statute. She declined to speak about specifics acts of negligence that the Blanco family alleges.

Continue Reading

“I can only say that the Scottsbluff Fire Department failed to do what firefighters are trained to do,” she said.

“This would be a terrible way to die, frightened and alone in your own house as it is on fire and you are helpless.”

The family wants to be able to say that they fought for their husband and father, she said.

“We hope the reaction of the city is not to say, ‘He was elderly, therefore his life didn’t have much value,” she said. “…His family will all agree that his life had great value to him, to them and he had a good quality of life and was in good health.”

Under the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, a person intending to pursue a lawsuit against a political subdivision must file a tort claim, or notice of intent to file a lawsuit. The tort claim puts the subdivision on notice and the subdivision, in this case the City of Scottsbluff, has six months in which to respond. During that time, the city can investigate and offer to settle, if it chooses. After six months, the notifying party can withdraw its tort claim and file a lawsuit in the local district court.

Scottsbluff City Manager Rick Kuckkahn said he could not comment on the tort claim.

Copyright 2012 Star-HeraldDistributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Source
Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Nebraska)
MAUNETTE LOEKS New Media Editor

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Century Ambulance Service announced July 28 a move to expand business in its hometown of Jacksonville, finalizing the details of an asset purchase of St. Vincent’s Ambulance Service, the dedicated transport provider for St. Vincent’s HealthCare facilities.

Additional firefighters were hired to solve the problem, but some employees say overtime has only increased since they are still short-staffed.

Cincinnati firefighters and paramedics believe the laws should be changed to involuntarily commit heroin addicts to rehabilitation facilities to break the cycle of addiction.

A leading healthcare Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and data provider taps a marketing veteran to support Its rapid growth.
The girl happened to crash into the back of an FDNY ambulance, whose crew members got out and helped her stop the car and revived her father with Narcan.
High school students interested in firefighting can obtain hands-on practice with the fire truck and join a fire cadet training program after graduation.
The 25-year-old woman was found overdosing in her bathroom along with her young son, who needed several doses of Narcan to become responsive and was later discovered to have fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
Firefighters, paramedics and EMTs from three different companies responded to a crash that left several passengers trapped in a bus stuck on a precipice off the road.
The QuikLitter Lite is designed to be lightweight and compact so multiple litters can be carried simultaneously to a scene.
The highly skilled team members practiced drills inside a local school in preparation for a possible active shooter situation.
Any first responders who are permanently disabled due to injuries that occurred in the line of duty are eligible for a property tax exemption following an amendment to the state's constitution passed last year.
Pulsara has been selected as one of the finalist's in Fierce Innovation Awards for its product Prehospital Alerting Package, an app that allows EMS providers to send patient information to the emergency department en route to the hospital for patient care optimization.
The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management conducted an exercise for the county's Emergency Operations Center's protocol for recovery efforts following a category 4 hurricane.
Avaya plans to honor the Texas Commission as it sees the adoption of Kari’s Law build across the country, a law which would mandate any company or organization with multi-line telephone systems to provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1.
The company achieves a milestone of its first U.S. regulatory filing for a medical device which would aid in hemostasis and wound care.