Lawsuit says faulty equipment killed California firefighters
PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The families of two California firefighters killed in a 2020 blaze are suing several makers of life-saving equipment for negligence, alleging the devices were defective and caused their loved ones’ deaths, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Porterville Fire Department Capt. Ramon Figueroa, 35, and firefighter Patrick Jones, 25, died when flames ripped through the city’s library.
Browne Greene, an attorney for the families, told the Bee that the firefighters entered the burning building that day with the expectation that the safety equipment they strapped on would protect them.
The lawsuit seeks seeking financial damages against the companies that produce the self-contained breathing apparatus and their personal alert safety system. Named in the lawsuit are Scott Technologies, 3M Company, Municipal Emergency Services and Allstar Fire Equipment.
Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
The court filing alleges negligence, wrongful death and strict products liability design defect. A multi-agency report on the Porterville Library fire confirmed there were problems with a lack of breathable air from the equipment, according to the Bee.
Two 13-year-old boys were blamed for causing the fire and charged with murder and arson.