Firefighters file suit against fire truck, siren manufacturers claiming ‘hearing loss’
Dozens of current and retired New Jersey firefighters have filed a lawsuit against fire truck manufacturers claiming the sirens have resulted in "irreversible hearing loss," NJ Advance Media has reported.
According to the article, the firefighters, each of whom were employed by the departments for decades, "have suffered irreversible hearing loss and a permanent decrease of their hearing" making them unable "to enjoy life's pleasures."
The suit was originally fired in NJ Superior Court but was moved to Federal Court on Dec. 4. The 34 firefighters who filed the lawsuit hail from fire departments in Bayonne, Cranford, Elizabeth, Kearny, Linden, Ridgewood, Union and West New York. Each firefighter is seeking $150,000 in damages along with court costs in connection with the suit.
The lawsuit names a number of manufacturers including American LaFrance LLC, Kovatch Mobile Equipments Corp., Mack Trucks Inc., Pierce Manufacturing Inc. and Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC, as well as the siren maker Federal Signal Corp, NJ Advance Media reported.
The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers of the trucks failed to properly test and develop the crew cabs or modify the fire and paramedic vehicles to make the sound levels safe for the firefighters who were riding in the apparatus while responding to calls.
In addition, the lawsuit claims that the company that developed the sirens - Federal Signal Corp. - should have been aware that the sirens they were producing were hazardous to a human's hearing and should have developed a safe product.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.