Sue the City as a Firefighter

Firefighters who suffer injuries or other damages due to workplace issues, such as discrimination and lack of safety measures, can sue the city for compensation. Unfortunately, the legal process of holding the city government accountable for the resulting losses is often challenging to navigate on your own. Let the experienced firefighter injury attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.

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Daniel Wasserberg

“In New York City a firefighter can sue the city directly if they’re injured on the job could be a slip and fall could be going into a building where the floor falls out beneath the firefighter and the city may not be the only party responsible for the injury but the firefighter can sue the city if the city was negligent and caused the injury”

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Firefighters put their lives on the line daily to protect millions of city residents. The law has come a long way in establishing guidelines on suing the city to protect these heroes.

If you or your loved one is a firefighter who has endured workplace problems, such as harassment or lack of a safe work environment, you can seek legal compensation for your harm. The skilled attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, have been fighting for the rights of New York City firefighters for years through legal representation. Start with a free no-obligation consultation with our team to understand your case better and get the justice you deserve.          

The Role of Meirowitz & Wasserberg in Advocating for New York City Firefighters' Rights

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we understand the critical role firefighters play in keeping our city safe. We have dedicated years of experience and expertise advocating for their rights when hurt on the job due to someone else’s negligence. 

Suing the city for negligence and winning requires comprehensive knowledge of the local law and experience handling such cases. Our award-winning personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for New York City public servants and their families. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t invest your finances in the claim unless we win a settlement for you.

Understanding New York City firefighters's Legal Rights

New York City has enacted laws giving firefighters and other public servants the right to sue the city for various workplace issues that lead to injuries or affect their ability to work.

  • New York General Municipal Law § 205-a: Firefighters can sue the city for any injuries caused by a violation of a rule, statute, or regulation in the local jurisdiction. 
  • Section 27-a of the New York State Labor LawPublic employers must provide safe working environments free from hazards likely to cause serious physical harm or death.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines: OSHA has specific standards that fire brigade employers must comply with and can be found liable for injuries arising from violations.

Common Workplace Issues Faced by Firefighters

Besides exposure to dangerous conditions while on the job, NYC firefighters also face various workplace issues, making their jobs twice as hard. For instance, three Staten Island firefighters are planning to sue the city for an internal policy that required shutting down firehouses when conducting staff medical checkups, leading to delayed response. The three were severely injured in a fire they say was exacerbated by inadequate resources resulting from the shutdown. 

Other common issues include the following:

  • Unfair treatment
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination based on gender or race 
  • Wage dispute
  • Lack of proper safety guidelines, training, and equipment
  • Employer abuse
Sue the city as a firefighter

Legal Avenues for Seeking Justice as a firefighter in New York City

To sue the city for negligence, you must file a notice to the New York City Comptroller’s Office with your claims within 90 days. This must be filed in writing and properly served electronically via certified mail or in-person delivery. The office will investigate the matter and offer a settlement amount or dismiss your claims if there’s insufficient evidence. 

More often than not, the initial offer is insufficient to cover damages. You need a personal injury attorney for the negotiations. If the city department is not willing to settle on the compensation you deserve, the next avenue to seek justice is through a court trial with a judge and sometimes a jury.

How To Build a Strong Case Through Evidence and Documentation

Many factors determine whether you receive compensation from the city, including the strength of your evidence to prove your claims. You must also fill out the correct documentation and file them on time. All injured firefighters must accurately complete the Line of Duty Member Injury Report or the CD-72 to explain the negligent condition before they can file a claim for on-the-job injuries. 

Next, you’ll need solid evidence to show how the city was negligent and how you’ve suffered from this. For instance, in cases involving a code violation, the firefighter must explain the specific law and how it pertains to their case. That’s why you need a lawyer before taking any legal action against the city.

Navigating the Complexities of New York City Government Liability

Unfortunately, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public servants filing claims against the city government have difficulty navigating the legal complexities. A New York City personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and related challenges, including:

  • The law imposes a 90-day rule to file a notice to sue, which provides only a short time to gather and document sufficient evidence for your claim.
  • New York City’s firefighter laws have changed over time but are still open to multiple interpretations, making it harder to win full compensation.

Collaborating With Unions To Strengthen Workers' Legal Claims

Working with unions can strengthen a worker’s legal claim, especially against their employer. First, the protection from a union membership increases the likelihood of an employee reporting abuse or filing a claim. Unions also have a collective bargaining power that makes it easy to advocate and secure higher compensation amounts. 

For instance, the Vulcan Society, an organization for black firefighters, intervened in a case over discriminatory hiring that resulted in a $128 million payout for back pay damages and lost wages. This legal action also led to a change in the discriminatory hiring process and practices.

If you’re a New York City firefighter experiencing workplace issues from an employer, contact us by calling 212-897-1988 to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

How To Sue the City of New York as a Firefighter - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You need a firefighter injury lawyer with experience litigating similar claims in New York City because they understand the city’s legal terrain and the history of such cases. The Meirowitz & Wasserberg personal injury attorneys are committed to helping firefighters and their families get back on track after suffering injuries or other damages due to the city’s negligence. 

To file a lawsuit against the city in New York, you must provide a notice to sue within 90 days after the incident. Failure to do so might bar you from seeking any compensation for your damages. If you’re experiencing a workplace issue, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we don’t charge our clients anything unless we win a compensation package for their lawsuit. Our attorney fee is a percentage of your settlement, which we’ll agree upon beforehand.

Personal injury cases that involve suing a government agency can be more challenging than other types of claims. Most agencies enjoy sovereign immunity against certain types of lawsuits, which can make it more difficult to pursue compensation without a skilled attorney. 


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