Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Arizona Forestry Division Fined For Firefighter Deaths

Citations issued to the Arizona Forestry Division by the state's workplace safety agency for the deaths of 19 firefighters could bolster efforts by their families to sue the state. But employment law attorneys said Thursday the bar remains very high for suits in workplace deaths. The state Industrial Commission levied nearly $560,000 in fines Wednesday after finding willful and serious lapses of workplace safety rules during the June fire northwest of Phoenix. A lawyer for one family that has filed a claim and a lawyer not involved in the case say the citations make it easier to sue. But others say the bar is extremely high, and a judge might block any lawsuits. At issue is the state's workers compensation law, which generally bars lawsuits for on the job injuries or deaths.

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