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Siren company settles $445,000 hearing-loss suit

Federal Signal will pay nine Chicago firefighters who say they have permanent hearing loss from the company's sirens

By FireRescue1 Staff

CHICAGO — Nine Chicago firefighters have been awarded $445,000 in damages for permanent hearing loss reportedly due to "unreasonably dangerous sirens."

Attorney Jordan Margolis filed a suit against Federal Signal in Ill. in 1999 that involved 700 firefighters and now has firefighters from over 16 states and almost 200 fire departments.

"Hopefully, the Appellate Court's salient opinion will speed the litigation process towards ultimate resolution by trials or settlement for the remaining 2,300 firefighter clients," Margolis said in a release.

A doctor said that Chicago firefighters were routinely exposed to 109.8 decibels, about 556% of the "permissible dose of acceptable noise exposure."

Federal Signal reached a settlement previously with more than 1,100 firefighters after three years of litigation over claims of hearing loss.

The company had to make a payment of $3.8 million for the settlement.

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Frank Staples Frank Staples Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:41:28 PM Once again the taxpayers pay for the greedy few. Get with it folks...we happen to drive vehicles with loud devices to try to move the motoring public out of our way. This is greed, pure and simple, paid for by the very people they were supposedly trying to protect!
Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:56:53 AM Huh? Cant hear you...
Jeff Allen Jeff Allen Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:23:58 AM Whoa, hold on a second. We have all been exposed to siren noise but it depended on where we placed the sirens on our vehicles as to whether or not the noise was acceptable or not. My first car had a Jetsonic lightbar on it with the siren in the middle of the light bar. Once you turned the siren on you could forget about talking on or listening to the radio; it was that loud. This isn't Federal Signal's fault; the fault lies in the placement of the siren. What a foolish and silly pile of litigation. It's stuff like this that puts good companies out of business (look at Ford with the Crown Victoria and the high speed rear end crashes/fires). Dumb, dumb, dumb. Be safe.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:30:35 AM Greedy? Try deaf, and the taxpayers aren't paying anything genius, the siren company is. Here's hoping you never lose your hearing.
Gene O'Neill Gene O'Neill Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:00:21 AM interesting
Larry Moran Larry Moran Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:42:06 AM Dumb asses. Did they know fire is hot?
Anna Menchaca Anna Menchaca Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:04:26 AM There are safety devices and warnings that should have been implemented PERIOD. NEITHER WAS DONE.
Paul Ross Paul Ross Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:04:19 PM Can you dim those freaking lights they are bright as well
Jonathan Gillen Jonathan Gillen Thursday, September 20, 2012 1:51:43 PM Every firefighter in the world could have a case now! Ever think of rolling windows up and using hearing protection?
Doug Born Doug Born Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:29:08 PM What?
John Ward John Ward Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:45:17 PM Next they will be sueing for loss of sleep because of midnight runs... I just hope federal signal doesn't stop making the Q or a large part of tradition and pride will be gone forever!
Jeff Pilz Jeff Pilz Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:09:28 PM Pride and tradition is no reason to put our members at increased risk for anything.
Pascal Hay Pascal Hay Friday, September 21, 2012 5:11:04 AM Did someone force these guys to do the job? Were they tied to the trucks at gunpoint? Did the FD bind them in front of a siren speaker and turn it on? Why is the manufacturer responsible for the miss use by the FD?
Steve Roebke Steve Roebke Saturday, September 22, 2012 7:02:06 PM Like others have said, the big thing is siren placement, get them off the lightbars. I feel for those with hearing issues, but when companys have to pay for misuse of their products, we all pay with increased prices. Too bad the warnings came too late for these folks.

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