Equipment Failure Causes Firefighter’s Death


A firefighter and Delaware Air Rescue Team member suffered fatal injuries due to a fall during a helicopter rescue training drill. The cause of his fall was an aluminum connecter, also called a carabiner, used by the firefighters to connect their safety harness to the helicopter. Although the carabiner failed to remain secure, causing the firefighter to fall 1000 feet, it did not appear to malfunction nor was there a flaw in design.

The lawsuit, filed by the victim’s family, claims the carabiners were negligently marketed as secure, but were not approved by Federal Aviation Authorities for air rescues. According to Delaware product liability law, the sellers of this equipment could be responsible for the victim’s passing.

The above tragedy is one that no family should ever have to bear, and it brings up an important issue regarding product liability. The fact is that people are harmed by products that are used incorrectly every day. When this incorrect use is suggested by the manufacturer or seller, the state of Delaware considers this a breach of duty, and those that violate their responsibility to keep consumers safe are held responsible for accidents and injuries.

Express and Implied Warranties

According to the law, a warranty is a guarantee that a product will meet a certain level of quality or perform a certain job. Warranties are not always traditional in nature and the words, warranty or guarantee, do not have to be written or spoken for it to be considered a binding promise.

There are three types of warrantees that hold a manufacturer or seller responsible when a consumer is harmed by a product:

  • Written Warranties: A manufacturer prints a promise on the product’s packaging.
  • Verbal Warranties: A seller verbally promises something about a product.
  • Implied Warranties: The product performs the job it was sold to do, whether the manufacturer had intended it for that use.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Delaware Code Title 10, Chapter 37 states that a lawsuit may be filed when a party’s wrongful act results in another’s death. Those that can file a wrongful death claim include immediate family members such as spouses, children, and parents. In some cases, if no immediate family member is available, other people may have a right to file a claim on behalf of the deceased.

A judge or jury will decide the amount of compensation to be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, and compensation is based on the following:

  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased person would have earned if he or she had lived
  • Loss of child support
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical bills incurred prior to the death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Mental anguish experienced by loved ones of the deceased

Bear Wrongful Death Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Families with Wrongful Death Lawsuits

If you have lost a child, spouse, or another loved one due to an accident caused by the negligence of another, call the Bear wrongful death lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow immediately. Our team will work to obtain you the justice and the compensation your family needs to move forward. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (302) 600-1107 or contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.


Delaware Injury Lawyers

R & M Lawyers
Rhoades & Morrow

Our attorneys provide exceptional legal service with a personal touch. Since our founding in 1990, we have helped thousands of Delaware citizens obtain full and just compensation for personal injury claims. We have gained an excellent reputation as the “go to” law firm. Let us put our decades of experience to work for you.

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