NH Supreme Court: Firefighter Who Slipped On Icy Driveway Can Sue Homeowner

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Supreme Court has reversed a judge’s ruling that said a volunteer firefighter couldn’t pursue a lawsuit against a homeowner after he fell and hurt himself on her icy driveway.

The court, in a unanimous decision Friday, sent the case back to superior court.

Jason Antosz, a volunteer firefighter with the Epping Fire Department, responded to a fire at Doree Allain’s home in January 2008. He slipped and fell on her driveway. He and his wife sued Allain, saying it was unsafe. Allain argued that state law regarding firefighters’ on-the-job injuries barred him from suing. The judge found in her favor.

The court disagreed, noting that the plain language of the law permits Antosz to pursue the claim.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  • Denise

    Well lets hope that anyone that has a fire in the winter in NH doesn’t have any icy conditions from all the water they have to use to fight the fire! This is like the McDonalds hot coffee that OMG burnt someone when they spilled it on themselves! I think the guy is a loser – she didn’t make it icy on purpose… if he got burnt from the fire too should he be able to sue her then too? Come on!

    I see someone and their wife that wants a pay day or early retirement if they can get it!

  • mikey

    Hey, it didn’t say he won the suit, just that the suit shouldn’t have been dismissed by the lower court. The suit could still be determined to have no merit. It’s just that now it gets it’s day in court.

    And before you start comparing this to the McD coffee incident, you should really read up on that lawsuit and what it was about before you make uninformed statements.

  • DoverDavid

    He slipped and fell on her driveway. He and his wife sued Allain, saying it was unsafe……… What’s the wife got to do with any of this?

  • Peter

    He was probably unable to perform his husband duties for his wife, so she gets to be part of ths frivolous lawsuit…….

  • paul

    I can see the lines forming now for all of the “volunteer” firefighters in every town. (and they thought they wouldn’t get paid…HA)

  • Bill

    Shakespear was right……Henry VI, Part 2 – “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”

  • Denise

    that’s right Mikey – just because he can… he does! That’s why everything is getting so expensive because everyone is looking to get rich quick! Waste the time on frivolous lawsuits taking the time and energy away from putting the real criminals behind bars. I’m sure he has workmans comp, insurance etc etc w/ that firefighter job of his and now he has to go sue someone that just had a fire and lost who knows what… ya kickem when their down! Hopefully he went out in an ambulance – he’ll probably get more $$!!!

    And why don’t you educate us all to the “story” of the McD’s coffee since you’re all knowing?

    • mikey

      I could Denise, but you sound like you have a closed mind. Or are you just so lazy you don’t want to do any research yourself?

      Suffice to say the McD coffee incident was a hidden time bomb just waiting to nail McD. It wasn’t the ‘stupid customer’ looking for a payday.

      People should read up on it before they open their mouths and make themselves look stupid. Or is that just uninformed? In this case, maybe both apply.

      • Doug

        Mikey is obviously a lawyer.

      • mikey

        Actually, no, I’m not a lawyer. But I will admit to having taken a law course under a semi-famous lawyer. The first one of the Nixon group to use a digital signal upon leaving. Although in this case, the signal was directed at Nixon… And I’ve actually had dinner with Rehnquist and Freedman. At the same time…

    • Tsalnew

      Hey. I don’t happen to agree with Mikey but last I checked he is entitled to an opinion –

  • Sarah

    He is absoutely entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to refer to another as lazy, closeminded, stupid or uninformed. These kinds of comments take away from what the real story is…

    This volunteer fire fighter should not be able to sue this homeowner because he fell in her driveway. If the water the firefighters used caused the ice on which he fell, this will get tossed. He knew the risks. The homeowner did not cause the ice, unless she set her own home on fire, which is highly unlikely. How sad. A firefighter, especailly someone helping out voluntarily is a hero, except this guy.

    • mikey


      You’re right, I’m entitled to my opinion. But my ‘kind of comment’ was a reaction to the ‘educate us’ comment.

      As to the original issue, people seem to forget this is the USA. A lot of our legal ‘mindset’ is not based on justice, but on ‘procedure’. All the way back to our founding fathers the mindset seems to be ‘due process’ to short circuit the abuses of the monarchy.

      Yes, the firefighters lawsuit may have no merit, but that doesn’t mean the firefighter needs to be cut off at the knees and not be allowed to file it. All the decision of the court said was that the lawsuit met the technical merits needed to be filed and was valid, not that the case itself was valid.

      As to the original McD coffee reference, it actually makes good reading, especially if all the person knows is that someone got burnt and sued for huge amount. You find things out that there were 6 digits of medial bills involved. That there were hundreds of accidents over many years, and people refused to take corrective action, and that the physical issues involved were issues that were INCREDIBLY unsafe and the lawsuit as it happened was probably letting the company off incredibly easy. It would have been a nightmare for the company if a child had been involved.

  • 1stackmack

    thats the american way,sue every body and you’ll make it here.seriously l have a question.if the driveway is iced for the water put the house fire out.or does the homeowner who’s house is burning up responsible to put ice melt down as the the crew is tending to the issue at hand.or does the homeowner,well,slide on that responsibility.just a thought.

  • Bill

    It is the Homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the yard is safe for ALL visitors……it is the fireman’s responsibility to wipe his (or her) feet before entering the house

  • A

    and people still wonder why medical insurance cost keeps going up among other things. Until this country adapts the understanding that suing your way to rich and fame isn’t possible, nothing will change

    if the hospitals and doctors didn’t have to worry about getting sued all the freaking time, do you think that an xray would 3000 dollar to your insurance company ? of course not.

  • Stephen

    Drop the ball already – quit pretending to be a fireman.

  • Stephen

    A Judge cannot change the law of the people under Constitutional Authority.

    Only Congress can Amend or Repeal a Law and Prepare a new bill for Enactment

    by the people through the President.

    Judges are acting without Constitutional grounds in these times — the results being divisions of dis-regard towards preestablished forms of unity that have been accepted by people of honor thus far.

    This all to suit their gambling agenda for the powerless.

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