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Scott McDonald and Associates PLLC

Injured Seattle Fireman Awarded $13M Following Fall Down Fire Pole Hole

Posted on Oct 23, 2009
A Seattle Washington Firefighter, Mark Jones, was awarded $13 Million by a King County jury for devastating injuries suffered in a fall down a fire pole hole at Station 33.  Mr. Jones fell 15 feet to a concrete floor suffering a head injury, 9 broken ribs, multiple fractures of his pelvis, 5 fracture low-back vertebrae, as well as internal injuries to his lung, bladder and liver.  Mr. Jones has not been able to work since the fall and will not be able to work in the future.

The fall happened one night when he was working in an unfamiliar fire station.  He got up late at night to use the bathroom and went through the wrong door.  Mr. Jones fell in the fire pole hole that did not have any guard around it.  Another fire fighter had fallen through the same hole in 1976, but the city of Seattle never installed a guard around the hole or on door leading to fire pole.

The jury verdict was double Seattle's last settlement offer before trial, but half of what Mr. Jones had sought in the lawsuit.  This is an example of a tragic accident that should never have happened.  Seattle is deciding whether to appeal the jury verdict.