A New York firefighter is filing a lawsuit against the city, Con Edison and a landlord of a building in East Harlem after being injured while responding to a major explosion caused by a gas leak this past March. While responding to the explosion, which caused several fatalities, the firefighter says that he suffered a fall and several injuries after debris collapsed underneath him.
The nature and extent of the injuries has not been revealed at this time and were not specified in his formal complaint. However, there are at least seven other people who are filing lawsuits based on injuries suffered in the explosion.
Firefighters and other emergency responders have a much greater burden of proof when filing lawsuits based on injuries suffered on the job. This is because it is generally understood that emergency responders accept much greater risks in their line of work than most other people, and that some level of injury is to be expected when working in such dangerous environments.
To have success in his case, the firefighter must be able to prove that at least one of the defendants in his lawsuit violated local, state or federal law. These laws could relate to the failed safety standards within the building, for example, or any other type of regulation affecting fire codes. The gas lines in the system are more than 130 years old, so the firefighter could prepare a suit stating that Con Edison was negligent in its duty to maintain those lines appropriate due to their age if it is found that the lines themselves were at fault.
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