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FDNY sued for $80 million over medical evaluation policies

Retired FDNY Lieutenant Bill Doody was nearly killed in a fire because city policy requires fire stations to be closed during annual inspections.

Just over two dozen firefighters were injured during the Staten Island fire in February 2023, including Doody.

“Fifty-six percent of my body was second and third degree burns,” Doody said.


What you need to know

  • Four current and former firefighters are each seeking $20 million from the FDNY and the city
  • The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to stop the city from continuing a policy that requires city fire stations to be closed during annual physical inspections.
  • Just over two dozen firefighters were injured during a fire on Staten Island in February 2023

Now Doody is one of four current and former firefighters each seeking $20 million in damages from the city and the FDNY.

“There is no common sense reason to close a fire station without a replacement,” says attorney Andreas Koutsoudakis.

Koutsoudakis represents the four men. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to stop the city from pursuing the controversial policy on Staten Island.

“When I was first a firefighter in Brooklyn, there was never really a problem. Companies were on top of each other. Everyone was close. It was fine, Doody said.

“But there were certain parts of the city. I know in Queens, and certainly (on Staten Island), where they are a little more spread out and in my opinion it creates a dangerous situation,” Doody said.

After the 2023 fire, an FDNY source said there were meetings to discuss how to better handle such a situation so it wouldn’t happen again.

“Following this incident, the FDNY made changes to protocols, including an announcement of dispatch to fire companies during a wind advisory issued by the National Weather Service and changes to dispatch operations to automatically replenish when a fire company is taken out of service. The matter is under investigation,” the FDNY said in a statement.