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Firefighter seeks compensation for his disabilities in Ohio

As a worker, you expect that your workplace will be filled with equally trained and careful workers. One person forgetting about safety can cause on the job injuries and even deaths. A case like this led to one man being severely hurt and disabled, and now he's having to fight for his right to compensation and liability.

This lawsuit suggests that volunteers at a local fire department were not trained well enough to be working on the scene of a fire. According to the news story, one volunteer firefighter lost both of his legs when two tankers collided at a house fire. Several local fire departments were on the scene at the time of the fire.

It's been alleged that the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department did not provide enough safety training to its volunteers, and that could have led to the accident. Now, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Ohio will be making a decision about whether the decision to release the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department from liability was sound.

The man who was hurt was a volunteer firefighter at the Washington Township Fire Department. He was stationed behind a Troy Township Fire Department tanker when the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department's tanker rolled forward, crushing the man's legs. The man had to have both of his legs amputated, and he is also legally blind due to the incident.

The initial lawsuit sought damages from the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department. Amazingly, the Richland County Common Pleas Court judge granted immunity to the fire department. Now, the injured worker has had to appeal that ruling.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is also looking to make money back from this situation. It has asked to recoup up to $2 million from any court award given to the injured man. The bureau reported spending close to $500,000 on medical payments and giving the man $28,314 in compensation. It alleges that it will be providing over $1 million in the future for the man's medical needs and lost wages.

Source: Mansfield News Journal, "Lawsuit alleges Jefferson volunteers lacked training," Linda Martz, Aug. 10, 2014

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