2008-09-24 / Local & State

Freightliner Appeals $4.5M Fire Hose Death Verdict

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Freightliner Specialty Vehicles Inc. wants a state appeals court to reconsider its decision to uphold a $4.5 million verdict in a case involving a western Pennsylvania killed by a six-pound nozzle on a hose from a passing fire truck.

Earlier this month, a divided Superior Court panel upheld the verdict against Freightliner and the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department near Pittsburgh. Ten-year-old Erin Schmidt was killed, and her 12- year-old friend injured when the nozzle whipped into them as a hose uncoiled from a passing fire truck in August 2004.

The damages also cover suffering by three family members who witnessed the incident, including Schmidt's mother.

Plaintiffs attorneys say the appeal is adding to their suffering. A Freightliner attorney says the company has a right to appeal.

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