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Faulty Equipment leads to Fireman's Death

St. Louis, MO: (Sep-19-07) Angela Martin, widow of Derek Martin, a St. Louis firefighter, brought charges against Survivair, a California-based subsidiary of the French safety company Bacou-Dalloz, following her husband's death. The suit claimed that Derek Martin's death in a blaze in 2002 was the result of a malfunction of his Survivair brand equipment. Survivair previously paid a settlement of up to $5 million, to the widow of firefighter Robert Morrison, who died separately in the same fire on May 3, 2002. She blamed his death on failure of a Survivair personal distress alarm after he became incapacitated. Reports stated that Martin died after taking off his Survivair mask to try to deal with a clogged valve. He had been rushing into the burning commercial building, in the 2200 block of Gravois Avenue, to try to find the missing Morrison. Both were 38 and worked on Rescue Squad 1.

Survivair denied blame and laid the deaths on faulty fire department procedures. In a settlement reached, Survivair agreed to pay $15 million in punitive damages, apart from $12 million in actual damages already awarded. The $12 million is jointly owed to Martin's family by Survivair and its corporate parent. The punitive damages were split $14 million against Survivair and $1 million against Bacou-Dalloz. [ST. LOUIS TODAY: FIREFIGHTER EQUIPMENT]

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Published on Sep-20-07


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