The Ohio Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing oral arguments in a lawsuit regarding a 2008 traffic accident that left two people dead. An Ohio woman filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2009 after her 72-year-old husband and 4-year-old step-grandson were killed after their vehicle was struck by a fire truck while traveling to a vehicle fire.
The suit accuses the firefighter who was operating the truck of driving at unsafe speeds given the severity of the emergency. The lawsuit names the town of Massillon, Ohio, as the defendant.
The city was initially granted immunity from liability by a common pleas court judge, who ruled that there was not enough evidence to show that the firefighter or her supervisor acted recklessly or maliciously. That decision was later overturned by an appeals court. The city now hopes to regain immunity from the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing that the victim failed to properly yield to the fire truck as the two vehicles approached a four-way stop that had a flashing red light.
The lawsuit also contends that the driver of the fire truck violated local and state laws and departmental policies by operating the vehicle in the manner she did. The suit seeks more than $25,000 in damages. No criminal charges were ever filed, and police investigators claim the truck was not traveling at an excessive speed.
The appeals process can be expected in civil litigation. But the woman has a right to fight for monetary damages that she believes she is owed. A wrongful death lawsuit can help cover medical and funeral costs, which can both be expensive.
Source: CantonRep.com, "Oral arguments to be heard in 2007 fatal Massillon fire truck crash," Jan. 24, 2012