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PERSONAL INJURY LAW: Appellate Court Holds That Discretionary Act Immunity Precludes A Claim Arising Out Of The Parking Of Fire Apparatus Across Roadway

PERSONAL INJURY LAW: Appellate Court Holds That Discretionary Act Immunity Precludes A Claim Arising Out Of The Parking Of Fire Apparatus Across Roadway

While responding to an accident on Interstate 95, a municipal firefighter parked a fire truck with emergency lights activated across two lanes to shield emergency responders from traffic.  An approaching vehicle struck the fire truck, killing the driver and one passenger.  Affirming summary judgment for the municipal defendants, the Appellate Court concludes that the trial court appropriately determined that the firefighter’s actions were discretionary, rejecting a claim that the receipt of instructions regarding the parking of the truck and the fact that the parking of the vehicle was a common procedure did not render the acts ministerial since the firefighter was required to use his judgment in executing the standards and directives.  The Appellate Court also concludes that there was no basis to deviate from precedent declining to extend the identifiable victim/imminent harm exception to the general public using roads and highways.

Chirieleison v. Lucas, AC 34274 (July 30, 2013)