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Firefighter injured when truck ladder dropped settles for ‘pleasing sum’

T.J. Elliott suffered multiple fractures in the 2014 training incident

POSTED: September 2, 2015 4:55 p.m.
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T.J. Elliott

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A Hall County firefighter injured in a July 22, 2014, training incident settled Monday for a “pleasing sum” with truck manufacturer Sutphen, said his attorney Shane Lazenby.

T.J. Elliott, one of three firefighters who fell 44 feet in a ladder truck bucket at the Allen Creek Training Center, closed out the lawsuit after mediation.

“I believe I’m safe in concluding that T.J. was very pleased with the results and appreciative of the efforts of everybody to get it resolved,” Lazenby said.

Citing the settlement’s confidentiality, Lazenby declined to say what the terms were but called the settlement in U.S. District Court a “pleasing sum.”

Elliott, Stephen Jackson and Will Griffin were practicing that day in the Sutphen firetruck aerial device. Hall County government purchased the truck from Sutphen for $505,000; it had previously belonged to the Bluffton, S.C., Township Fire District.

Bluffton Township reported multiple instances of cable failure.

In November, county government received reimbursement for the truck.

In his lawsuit, Elliott claimed he suffered multiple fractures to his face, fractured teeth and dislocation of his right shoulder, among other injuries. The medical expenses, Elliott claimed, exceeded $230,000.

Hall County Deputy Fire Chief Chad Black previously told The Times that Elliott returned to administrative duty with Hall County Fire Services toward the end of May.

Attempts to reach Sutphen’s counsel in the civil suit, Michael Rust, were unsuccessful.



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