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KI Legal and Liakas Law Announce Lawsuit vs. City on Behalf of S.I. Firefighters

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Koutsoudakis & Iakovou Law Group, PLLC (KI Legal), represented by Co-Founders Andreas Koutsoudakis and Michael Iakovou, and Liakas Law P.C., represented by Senior Partner Nicholas Liakas and Supervising Partner Scott A. Steinberg, hosted a press conference on May 20, announcing the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of four firefighters from Ladder Company 84 and Engine Company 168 – Lieutenant Bill Doody, Firefighter Michael Guidera, Firefighter Kwabena Brentuo, and Firefighter John Sarnes – who nearly lost their lives in a blaze on February 17, 2023. The four-alarm fire began at a single-family home on Shotwell Avenue but ultimately spread to neighboring homes due to heavy winds. The closest firehouse, Ladder Company 167, was closed for annual medical exams as per FDNY policy. This left the responding firefighters short-handed and delayed the response. This FDNY policy includes periodic closures of firehouses for medical exams and training, which contributed to the severity of the situation. All four injured firefighters are seeking $20 million in damages and a change in policy.

The KI Legal and Liakas Law press conference announcing the lawsuit was held on May 20. Photo: TNH/ Michael Kakias

“As a native Staten Islander, when this matter was first brought to my attention, I felt a strong need to step in immediately. This could’ve been my house, my family, my neighborhood that was impacted. This story is innately close to home, so to realize that the firefighters in my community, and across the City of New York, are rushing into raging blazes, and that this type of situation could be prevented, is what is motivating our taking on this case. Real-life heroes don’t wear capes; they wear 50 pounds of gear and run into burning buildings. While people run away from danger, our firefighters run towards it to protect the public.” said KI Legal Personal Injury Co-Founder Andreas Koutsoudakis. “The City of New York should be implementing common sense policies to ensure that our bravest are protected, not implementing nonsensical policies that put them in harm’s way. The policy of closing firehouses for required physicals without replacements is a dangerous policy that increases the likelihood that our firefighters will be placed in harm’s way. Our clients suffered life-altering injuries as a result of this policy. We look forward to fighting vigorously in Court on their behalf so that they can be compensated for their injuries and to ensure that the same does not occur to any other firefighters.”

The lawsuits, on behalf of the plaintiffs, have been filed in Richmond County Supreme Court. For further reference, the index numbers are: 151001/2024; 151002/2024; 151003/2024; and 151004/2024.

KI Legal Personal Injury, founded by attorneys Andreas Koutsoudakis and Michael Iakovou, fights for the outcomes that victims deserve. No matter the type of claim – premises liability, car accidents, slip and falls, or otherwise – their team will passionately defend your case for as long as it takes.

Liakas Law, P.C., is a dynamic litigation and personal injury practice with offices in New York City and Chatham, New Jersey. As a family-run legal practice, their lawyers are committed to guiding accident victims and their families through the complex litigation process to obtain full compensation after a serious or fatal accident.

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