Firefighter Sues Landowner Over Injuries

Firefighter Sues Landowner Over Injuries

In a rare lawsuit in North Dakota, a firefighter there is suing the owner of the property for injuries the firefighter sustained while trying to stop a fire on the man’s property.  The incident occurred in Wilton, ND and has many in the state watching the case closely because it may affect nationwide personal injury laws.

Currently, the state of North Dakota has several laws which fall under the “Fireman’s Rule.”  Under the fireman’s rule, both firefighters and police officers that get injured or suffer some loss are not allowed to sue the owner of the property for negligence or any other premises liability reason.  The Fireman’s Rule has been challenged in several other states, but never in North Dakota.

In the case of Mark Keller, the North Dakota firefighter who has filed suit, he claims that a worker started the fire deliberately on the property, in order to burn out unwanted tree stumps.  Keller and two other firefighters were trapped by the blaze when their fire truck stalled on the property.  Keller spent several months in the hospital suffering from second and third degree burns and has had to pay medical expenses totaling over $500,000.

Keller’s case alleges that the owner of the land was negligent in allowing the fire and his negligence caused Keller’s injuries and their resulting costs.  The lawsuit is to be filed in South Central District Court and will be looked at by a judge in order to see if it warrants going to trial or not.

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