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Firefighter’s Widow Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against the Town of Claremore


Fire Captain Jason Farley was killed last spring while attempting to rescue residents of Claremore during flash flooding. Farley was a 19-year veteran of the fire department, and left behind a wife and young daughter. His death in the line of duty was tragic, all the more so because it could have been prevented.

Reports about Farley’s death were unclear, noting only that he drowned when he “stepped into a storm drain.” Only later did the details emerge; Jason Farley drowned when rushing waters trapped him after he fell into an uncovered drain. Lieutenant Zane James also fell into the uncovered drain, but was swept out the other end of the pipe and survived.

Negligence, not duty, killed a husband and father

On May 9, Shelli Farley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Claremore. Oklahoma’s Own News On 6 reported, “The family said Farley’s death could have been prevented, if the City of Claremore had maintained the drainage pipe and the area around it. And for that reason, Farley’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Claremore.”

The suit contains damning allegations against the city; it alleges that repairs to the area were a top priority in 2009, though no action was ever taken. Additionally, the city neglected to provide swift water rescue training in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association. Since the accident, the city has erected fencing around the storm drain but has not yet installed a safety grate.

Lawsuits effect change

The city’s lack of response prompted the wrongful death suit; the Farleys feel that the city hasn’t adequately responded to their loss and is not serious about the safety of other first responders. Farley’s daughter, Hannah, said, “We just want something to be done so nothing like this happens to any other family. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

Filing a lawsuit can be a difficult decision, but when you or your loved one has been wronged, it can help make things right again. Wrongful death leaves families broken and grieving. Sometimes, it’s not about the money; it’s about effecting change. If your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced and compassionate Oklahoma wrongful death attorneys at Stipe Law Firm can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call (918) 505-7741 or contact us today for a free consultation.