Family of Philly firefighter sues equipment companies for wrongful death

Courtesy of the Craig family

The family of a fallen Philadelphia firefighter has filed a $1.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against 30 fire equipment manufacturers for producing gear that failed to protect her.

Lt. Joyce Craig was the city’s first female firefighter to die in the line of duty. She suffocated while trapped in the basement in a West Oak Lane home on Dec. 9, 2014.

The lawsuit — filed on behalf of her two children — claims that if the equipment she was using had worked properly, Craig wouldn’t have died.

Her gear, including a self-contained breathing apparatus, an emergency location device and thermal protective clothing, failed to protect Craig as she worked to battle the fire.

The family is seeking damages of $50,000 from each of the 30 defendants. The companies named in the lawsuit include Scott Health and Safety, Tyco, Fisher Scientific, Goodyear, Cairns and Brother and Majestic Fire Apparel. Tyco and Fisher Scientific could not be reached for comment, and Majectic Fire Apparel declined to comment on an active investigation.

RELATED: Memorial celebrates life of Lt. Joyce Craig

“This was a totally foreseeable and preventable tragedy,” David Kwass, an attorney representing Craig’s estate, said in a statement. “We now know and will demonstrate at trial that Firefighter Craig never stood a chance at surviving that fire because her equipment — from her personal protective suit to her air tank system — was inadequate.”

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