City firefighter files $1 million suit against supervisor

November 13, 1990|By Raymond L. Sanchez | Raymond L. Sanchez,Evening Sun Staff

A Baltimore firefighter has filed a $1 million civil suit against a former supervisor who pointed a shotgun at him outside a firehouse three years ago.

Lt. Thomas G. Ford pointed a loaded shotgun at Firefighter Jerry Green outside Engine Co. No. 58 in South Baltimore in October 1987.

Green filed criminal charges against Ford, who was found guilty in 1988 of assault and a weapons violation. A District Court judge sentenced Ford to 12 months' probation and 200 hours of community service, according to Green's civil suit.

The suit, filed Oct. 22 in Baltimore Circuit Court, said the incident was a "great mental, emotional and psychological disturbance" for Green.

The suit also names as defendants the mayor and City Council, alleging that they were negligent in allowing Ford's "supervisory and controlling role" in the department.

Capt. Patrick Flynn, a Fire Department spokesman, declined to comment on the suit. Flynn said Ford used "poor judgment" the day he pointed the shotgun at Green and characterized the incident as "horsing around."

The shotgun had been issued to a city police officer whose car broke down near the Annapolis Road fire station. The officer left the shotgun and other gear at the fire station.

Ford pointed the loaded shotgun at the firefighter while Green was pushing the police officer's disabled car toward the firehouse.

David E. Sloan, Green's lawyer, said the incident was "very unsettling" for his client, who is still a firefighter. "It disrupted the ordinary composure and certainty of his personality," Sloan said, adding that Green has seen a psychiatrist.

Ford was transferred from the Annapolis Road fire station after a department trial board hearing in December 1987, Flynn said. Ford is still a Fire Department lieutenant, Flynn said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.