Police Officer 2

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Q: I am a police officer.  While in pursuit of a suspect, I slipped and fell on an icy and broken sidewalk abutting city-owned property.

A:  Under the so-called ‘firefighter’s rule’, a firefighter or police officer cannot recover damages against her employer or co-employees for injuries resulting from the particular dangers associated with the performance of her duties.

The ‘firefighters’ rule is said to be based on ‘public policy’ considerations: because firefighters and police officers are specially trained and compensated to deal with the dangers attendant to their respective professions, when they are injured by negligent actions they should not be permitted to sue the governmental entities employing them.

You might think that, while the city cannot be held liable as your employer, it can be in its capacity as owner of the premises abutting the sidewalk.  Our courts have rejected this approach.  The courts hold that there is no basis in the rule for drawing such a distinction – for permitting claims against your employer when sued merely in a property-owning capacity.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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