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OAK BROOK, Ill. - Federal Signal Corporation, a leader in environmental, safety and transportation solutions, announced today that it has reached a settlement with 1,125 firefighters, represented by attorney Joseph Cappelli, in connection with hearing loss claims. This agreement was reached after Federal Signal obtained complete defense verdicts in consecutive recent trials involving the cases of 18 firefighter plaintiffs represented by Mr. Cappelli. Federal Signal also prevailed on pretrial motions with respect to three other plaintiffs represented by Mr. Cappelli.

Jennifer Sherman, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Federal Signal, said, "This settlement with 1,125 firefighters represents a very favorable development for the Company in the hearing loss litigation. As demonstrated in our recent trial victories, as well as our track record generally throughout this litigation, Federal Signal has strong defenses to these claims and we are committed to defending our siren products and litigating these cases as necessary. Sirens are necessary public safety products and save lives."

Mr. Cappelli stated, "I am happy that we have been able to resolve these cases with Federal Signal. Years of litigation and several trials have brought both sides to the point where settlement makes sense. After extensively investigating fire departments in various states and handling several hundred individual firefighter cases, I have concluded that most firefighter claims are complicated and challenging cases to win. There are multiple obstacles to overcome to achieve success in these cases, including the minimal exposure times to sirens and the fact that Federal Signal has warned about the risk of hearing loss since 1986. I believe these were significant factors in several jury trials in which Federal Signal prevailed."

Under the settlement agreement, Federal Signal will make a payment of $3,800,000, reduced by the percentage of firefighters who do not participate in the settlement. In order to receive any payment, a minimum of 93% of certain claimants must participate in the settlement.

The settlement with these 1,125 firefighters follows dismissals of all hearing loss cases filed against Federal Signal in Maryland, New Jersey, and Missouri during the past three years. Federal Signal also won dismissal of similar hearing loss claims filed by four New York firefighters, which was affirmed by an appeals court in 2009. Federal Signal remains a defendant in hearing loss cases filed in Cook County, Illinois. In Cook County, Federal Signal obtained a complete defense verdict in a consolidated trial involving 27 firefighter plaintiffs during 2008. Federal Signal lost one jury trial in Cook County in February 2009 involving nine firefighters, the verdict of which is under appeal.

The claims of 74 other Cook County firefighters have been dismissed over the course of this litigation. Federal Signal also lost a jury trial in Philadelphia in March 2010 involving one firefighter, in which the jury found the Company's siren was not defective, but nonetheless awarded damages for negligence.

About Federal Signal
Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS) enhances the safety, security and well-being of communities and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and institutional customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates four groups: Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions, Federal Signal Technologies, and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit: http://www.federalsignal.com.

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire Association LLC
All Rights Reserved
January 10, 2011

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What a sad state of affairs. It's too expensive to fight for what's fair and risk all that bad publicity, than to wait it out and arrive at anything that resembles justice.

I suppose I should sue Chicago Pneumatic, Snap-On Tools, Mac Tools, Matco, Sears & Roebuck, Makita, DeWalt, and any others I can think of for my hearing loss.

What???
Well, yeah... the responsibilities lie with ourselves. We subject ourselves to something potentially dangerous (repeatedly) for years and years, and then expect someone else to shoulder the blame?

Such is life in a litigious society. I think it's sickening.
Can you sue the install guys? Hmmmm how about the driver or officer who turned the siren on? And these are firefighter sueing? Thats embarassing...
What's embarassing about it?

The guys beleive they were exposed to hazard in the workpalce, and just like any other employee in their chosen career, they have the right to a safe work place and an opportunity to come to work and be exposed to the least amount of hazards.

If there is an issue with the sirens (too loud for example? Here in Australia, we have Australian Standards which dictate allowable noise exposures in the workplace, not sure about you gusy in the USA), or there's an issue with the installation or location of the sirens, then so be it.

We're not untouchable or 100% protected in our uniform.
Get a job as a librarian.... they have these things called... earplugs, you have to know that being around a fire engine you might be hearing a siren on occasion. Its sad that everyone can sue over everything.... just sayin
One of the great liberties of a free society and our legal system; you can sue for redress. Seemingly the tort system worked in this case.

How would you decide what one can or can not sue for? In filing a law suit the court can allow it to precede or deny the claim. Moving forward it may be decided by a judge or jury. It's how our system works. It certainly could use a few tweaks but how would you feel if you were NOT allowed to sue? Sometimes it's the risk of liability that keeps people/businesses more honest than moral value alone.
I am sorry Jack, I agree we need to be able to sue, but in this case we need those sirens to alert the public of our presence, and with all the loud stereos etc. I will take a loud siren anyday. What about ear plugs for those afraid of the "loud" noise.

I grew up during the 70's with all the loud music and still ace the hearing test.

Be safe.
I have played in live bands and sit in the same engine that everyone else does... shoot guns play with power tools and all have one thing in common EAR PLUGS! You can't blame your department or anyone else if you don't wear your PPE.
Wayne,

I wasn't in any way implying that we should do away with sirens, federals or otherwise. Only that suing is a byproduct of our society and system. Generally the courts handle most lawsuits with common sense, according to the letter of the law.

When exposed to loud (high decibel) sounds for (relatively) extended periods ear protection is always required/suggested. We use comsets on our rig (responding and returning, it makes conversation easier).
<"The guys beleive they were exposed to hazard in the workpalce, and just like any other employee in their chosen career, they have the right to a safe work place and an opportunity to come to work and be exposed to the least amount of hazards.">

Really? Surely you jest here? I guess now all the firefighters can sure building occupants/owners for "hazards" exposure during fire suppression? Soon we'll all be walking down the street all bunkered out singing KumBaiYa on our way to the fire call 'cuz it's sure too damn dangerous to go tearing through the streets at high speeds with sirens and air horns blaring. Can't be exposed to any of them hazards in the workplace now.

Where's my check? Who do I call to get my name on that lawsuit list? What's that commercial phrase? Oh yeah, "It's my money and I want it NOW!!!

Let's see, Detroit Diesel, American Lafrance/Freightliner, shit, let's sue 'em all and get rich so we can sit back and watch the show. Give me a break.

Maybe I shouldn't say this but I am anyway. lutan1, if you're that concerned about hazards in the FD, maybe you might be in the wrong line of work. I got burned, inhaled smoke with God only knows what kinds of BS in it, fell down, skinned my knuckles, strained my back and everything else I was born with, damaged my delicate hands with harsh chemicals washing and cleaning equipment, and had my sensitive ears bombarded by incessant bitching from other line officers and Chiefs as well as firefighters. Oh the humanity of it all.

My only hope is that sooner than later the Social Security folks are gonna decide that being a crotchety old man is a disability and I'll get me a fat SSI check. Makes about as much sense as suing God because beans make me fart.
I am going to vent a little.....AREN'T SIRENS SUPPOSED TO BE LOUD?? I am sure that there are those that have suffered some hearing loss, but really.....the fire we are going to is going to be hot , there's probably going to be blood at the traffic accident and water on the roadway will likely freeze in the wintertime!

There may be more to it, but this sounds like we just sued McDonalds because their coffee was hot......I thought we were better than that!
What next..suing the city/town/community because you were exposed to contaminated smoke at a fire?...and maybe, just maybe I got smoke in my eyes so I am suing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with all that made a good point relating to this BS lawuit...as we all know "Mc Donalds" type lawsuit.
We can only blame our lame "DONKEY" justice system for allowing this and many other BS lawsuits.

I am very much aware of the hazards & dangers I will encounter in this profession, I also know that by doing this profession I will be encountering one or many hazards and put into a dangerous situation, .... "What?? It comes with the profession!!" Hmmmm, may be its not the job for me.

Such as it is {this type lawsuit sux} our system allows it and there will always those that exploit it. Sponsored by the Law Office of "Dewey, Cheetam & Howe."

Stay safe, train often & share knowledge.

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