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Florida Officer who Sued Family Fired

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  • Florida Officer who Sued Family Fired

    This is ridiculous!!!!

    If it was the other way around and the woman walked into police headquarters and fell what would happen?

    SHE WOULD FILE A LAWSUIT.... For injuries and embarrassment...

    I feel sorry for anyone that works for that dept...
    .


    Two months ago, after hundreds of people from across the country voiced their outrage, Casselberry police Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn dropped her lawsuit against the family of tiny, brain-damaged Joey Cosmillo.

    It wasn't enough to save her job.

    On Tuesday, the Casselberry Police Department fired her.

    Her suit, filed Oct. 1 and abandoned Oct. 12, brought public ridicule to the agency, according to a memo from police Chief John Pavlis. It damaged the city's image and made people question whether they, too, might get sued by officers responding to 911 calls.

    Eichhorn got what she deserved, said Richard Cosmillo, the boy's grandfather and guardian.

    If she hadn't filed suit, he said Tuesday evening, "she wouldn't have been fired, would she?"

    Police spokesman Lt. Dennis Stewart would not comment.

    Eichhorn, 36, of Chuluota, a 12-year department veteran, was not available for comment.

    Joey Cosmillo fell into his backyard pool Jan. 9. When his mother found the 1-year-old a few minutes later, he was unconscious and not breathing. She hauled him out, carried him inside and called 911. She told the 911 operator she thought her son was dead.

    Eichhorn was the third rescuer at the house. She slipped and fell in a puddle of water in the hallway, near where officers were performing CPR.

    She didn't see the water, she told police Lt. Ralph Mellon, who conducted an internal police investigation into the matter. She only realized the floor was wet, she told him, because when she fell and wound up on the seat of her pants, they got wet.

    Later that day, she had a co-worker drive her to an emergency outpatient clinic. Doctors concluded she had broken a kneecap.

    The city or its insurer covered all her medical bills, and although she missed two months of work, she didn't lose a single day's pay, according to the internal investigation.

    Eichhorn sued because she was afraid she might wind up disabled, the city's insurer might reject her claims or that she would become a burden to her family, she told the department.

    She and her attorney, David Heil, had tried for months to get money from the Cosmillos, but the family had ignored her claim, so on Oct. 1 she filed suit in state circuit court in Sanford, accusing the family of negligence.

    The Orlando Sentinel published an article Oct. 10, and the outcry was immediate. The police department and city offices were inundated during the next several days with calls and e-mail from people outraged by the suit.

    Judi Romboli, executive assistant to Casselberry's city manager, told Mellon that in her 14 years on the job, she had never had to deal with anything like it.

    "No, nothing. This was the worst," she said.

    Eichhorn was in tears and went home sick the day the article appeared, according to the investigative report. She stayed home the next day.

    That same day, Pavlis placed her on a paid leave of absence and called for the internal investigation. Mellon completed it three weeks ago, concluding Eichhorn had violated several department policies, including damaging the department's image and filing suit without giving the police chief advance written notice.

    On Nov. 19, Pavlis took away her badge and weapon, telling her he intended to fire her. She asked for a review and got it, but it did no good. On Tuesday, Pavlis fired her.

    Eichhorn has 10 days to appeal.

    Joey Cosmillo, now 2, suffered severe brain damage that day in the pool. He now lives in a home for profoundly handicapped children, unable to breathe or swallow on his own. His grandfather is hoping for a miracle.

    "I don't want my Joey to live the way he's living for the rest of his life," he said. "I need my Joey to live and breathe the way other kids do."

    CONTACT: Rene Stutzman can be reached at [email protected] or 407-324-7294.
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  • #2
    I'm confused. Do you agree or disagree with the lawsuit?

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    • #3
      Why would you defend the officer? So you're going to have officers, who are supposed to PROTECT AND SERVE and put their lives in danger for others, suing people because they get injured while on the job? Give me a break, she didn't deserve to wear the badge.

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe she was rightfully terminated.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wannabele View Post
          I'm confused. Do you agree or disagree with the lawsuit?
          While I agree that she had the right to sue, I think it was kind of dumb. In the end, she will wind up getting more money from the city's insurer for lost wages, medical bills, permanent disability compensation and retirement than she ever would have from the family. Plus, most states have subrogation laws that give the employer's insurance company first claim on any money she might have won, to cover what they have paid out so far and what they might pay out in the future, so suing really gets her nothing.

          At the same time, I think firing her for suing was just as dumb. By terminating her for filing the lawsuit, her Chief has, in essence, claimed he can prohibit one of his subordinates from exercising a legal right (to file a lawsuit) if, in his opinion, doing so will embarrass the department. This relegates peace officers to second class citizen status and poses a serious conflict with the Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution. He should be equally ashamed of himself.

          While the fired Sergeant may have withdrawn her suit against the family, I now see a great potential for her to eventually own the keys to her Chief's house.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            While I agree that she had the right to sue, I think it was kind of dumb. In the end, she will wind up getting more money from the city's insurer for lost wages, medical bills, permanent disability compensation and retirement than she ever would have from the family. Plus, most states have subrogation laws that give the employer's insurance company first claim on any money she might have won, to cover what they have paid out so far and what they might pay out in the future, so suing really gets her nothing.

            At the same time, I think firing her for suing was just as dumb. By terminating her for filing the lawsuit, her Chief has, in essence, claimed he can prohibit one of his subordinates from exercising a legal right (to file a lawsuit) if, in his opinion, doing so will embarrass the department. This relegates peace officers to second class citizen status and poses a serious conflict with the Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution. He should be equally ashamed of himself.

            While the fired Sergeant may have withdrawn her suit against the family, I now see a great potential for her to eventually own the keys to her Chief's house.
            Chief made a great point. People shouldn't have to worry about police suing them when they're responding to a call to help that citizen.

            Comment


            • #7
              I see both sides. She has the right to file a lawsuit. Do I agree with it, yes and no but that’s my opinion.

              But firing her was not proper. An agency should stand behind their officers.

              Remember she broke her kneecap that’s a painful break and what if she was unable to return to work. Disability only covers someone for so long.

              Now if she was injured due to a wet floor then the homeowners insurance should have covered something. Maybe the homeowner didn’t have the proper insurance or they refuse to notify their insurance company.

              All of you who say she was rightfully terminated put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

              1. Think about the out of pocket costs not covered by medical insurance.
              2. Possibly having to consult a specialist.
              3. Lost wages. *disability only pays so much
              4. Pain due to the location of the injury.
              5. Long term effects
              6. Or agencies opt out of disability due to the cost.


              Think about that and now she’s been fired... I don’t expect all of you to agree with me.
              Last edited by Evil Cartman; 12-05-2007, 11:45 PM.
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              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                While I agree that she had the right to sue, I think it was kind of dumb. In the end, she will wind up getting more money from the city's insurer for lost wages, medical bills, permanent disability compensation and retirement than she ever would have from the family. Plus, most states have subrogation laws that give the employer's insurance company first claim on any money she might have won, to cover what they have paid out so far and what they might pay out in the future, so suing really gets her nothing.

                At the same time, I think firing her for suing was just as dumb. By terminating her for filing the lawsuit, her Chief has, in essence, claimed he can prohibit one of his subordinates from exercising a legal right (to file a lawsuit) if, in his opinion, doing so will embarrass the department. This relegates peace officers to second class citizen status and poses a serious conflict with the Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution. He should be equally ashamed of himself.

                While the fired Sergeant may have withdrawn her suit against the family, I now see a great potential for her to eventually own the keys to her Chief's house.
                Yes, she had a right to sue, but as a LEO we know the "dangers" that may occur. The lawsuit was BS as far as I'm concerned.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Evil Cartman View Post
                  I see both sides. She has the right to file a lawsuit. Do I agree with it, yes and no but that’s my opinion.

                  But firing her was not proper. An agency should stand behind their officers.

                  Remember she broke her kneecap that’s a painful break and what if she was unable to return to work. Disability only covers someone for so long.

                  Now if she was injured due to a wet floor then the homeowners insurance should have covered something. Maybe the homeowner didn’t have the proper insurance or they refuse to notify their insurance company.

                  All of you who say she was rightfully terminated put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

                  1. Think about the out of pocket costs not covered by medical insurance.
                  2. Possibly having to consult a specialist.
                  3. Lost wages. *disability only pays so much
                  4. Pain due to the location of the injury.
                  5. Long term effects
                  6. So agencies opt out of disability due to the cost.


                  Think about that and now she’s been fired... I don’t expect all of you to agree with me.
                  She should have taken all of those into account before she decided to apply at a police department. Everyone (I guess besides her) knows prior to applying the risk and dangers involved.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Evil Cartman View Post
                    I see both sides. She has the right to file a lawsuit. Do I agree with it, yes and no but that’s my opinion.

                    But firing her was not proper. An agency should stand behind their officers.

                    Remember she broke her kneecap that’s a painful break and what if she was unable to return to work. Disability only covers someone for so long.

                    Now if she was injured due to a wet floor then the homeowners insurance should have covered something. Maybe the homeowner didn’t have the proper insurance or they refuse to notify their insurance company.

                    All of you who say she was rightfully terminated put yourself in her shoes for a moment.

                    1. Think about the out of pocket costs not covered by medical insurance.
                    2. Possibly having to consult a specialist.
                    3. Lost wages. *disability only pays so much
                    4. Pain due to the location of the injury.
                    5. Long term effects
                    6. Or agencies opt out of disability due to the cost.


                    Think about that and now she’s been fired... I don’t expect all of you to agree with me.
                    The lawsuit was originally against the homeowners, correct?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Matto I agree but here is some food for thought...

                      How come when a fire fighter is killed in a fire due to negligence of the homeowner or the suspect of arson is sued? The fire fighter knew the risks...

                      If you were injured during a training exercise that put you out wouldn’t you sue?

                      If you were hit by a motorist on a traffic stop wouldn’t you sue if injured?

                      So what’s the difference...?

                      That’s all I’m saying.
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wannabele View Post
                        The lawsuit was originally against the homeowners, correct?
                        Yes
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Evil Cartman View Post
                          Yes
                          So how, with having a good heart and all, possibly try to sue this family that had this misfortune with a young child??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wannabele View Post
                            So how, with having a good heart and all, possibly try to sue this family that had this misfortune with a young child??
                            i didn't say i would.... i said i see how someone could...


                            There is more to this story than we all know... There always is....
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evil Cartman View Post
                              i didn't say i would.... i said i see how someone could...


                              There is more to this story than we all know... There always is....
                              I'm not saying you would. But how could anybody? And yes, I'm sure there is more to this story.

                              Comment

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