BUFFALO, NY - The city of Buffalo will likely pay out $4.1 million to settle a pair of lawsuits filed by the families of the late Lt. Charles McCarthy and Firefighter Jonathan Croom. Both were killed on duty in 2009.
The Buffalo Common Council unanimously approved the settlement Tuesday afternoon.
$3 million will go to the two young children of Croom. They will also receive health insurance. Mccarthy's widow will get $1.1 million, according to her attorney Thomas Burton. He says the difference in the amount boils down to the age of McCarthy and his children are now adults and not living at home.
In addition to the monetary damages, the city agreed to do something to help prevent firefighter injuries or death in the future. "The city agreed to multiple safety procedures and protocols, hopefully that would prevent one of these things in the future. Many of those have been in place for some period of time," said Burton. Some of those procedures are the two-in, two-out rule. A firefighter can not leave or enter a burning building without a partner and there must be an accountability officer on scene to keep track of those going into buildings.
According to Burton such procedures were not followed in 2009 when McCarthy and Croom died.
There is still a lawsuit by both families against the owner of the building and the deli owner. "We're not coming to dance with anybody there," said Burton when asked about monetary damages being sought in that case.