Firefighter Personal Injury

When our firefighters get hurt on the job because of their employer’s negligence, the injuries can be devastating and career-ending. Fortunately, in Washington, the law (RCW 41.26.281) allows our injured firefighters, and their loved ones, to hold accountable their negligent employers for the life changing losses that are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Accountability requires negligent employers to compensate injured firefighters. Just compensation includes: (1) noneconomic losses, including, but not limited to, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress; and (2) economic losses, including, but not limited to, future lost wages and future lost retirement benefits under Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF).

Notable Cases – Past and Current


Lynch v. City of Seattle, King County Superior Court

Case Summary: On December 15, 2016, Steve Lynch, a firefighter employed by the City of Seattle Fire Department, was dispatched to an “electrical fire” in the Night House, at the Woodland Park Zoo. Firefighter Lynch was sent into the vacant Night House building to help put out the fire before the electrical power to the building had been shut off, sustaining injury when an energized electric panel arced, blowing him back and causing him to land on the floor. Firefighter Lynch suffered serious, permanent injuries as a result. 


Weber, et al. v. City of Vancouver, Clark County Superior Court 

Case Summary: On February 22, 2021, Gregory Weber, a 30-year captain of the Vancouver Fire Department, suffered career-ending injuries. A basic rule of firefighting is that a firefighter’s life should only be put at risk for the life of another, not mere property: “A life for a life. Less for less.” This basic rule was violated when Captain Weber and his crew were ordered into a burning building known to be unoccupied. The ceiling collapsed. Captain Weber’s unconscious body was extricated from the debris.