Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 14, 2014

City settles wrongful death suit

Settlement reached between Lockport and estate of Jeanette A. Lombardi

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

A settlement has been reached between the City of Lockport and the estate of an alderman's mother, who died prior to an ambulance arriving 13 minutes after the initial 911 call was made.

The city and the estate of Jeanette A. Lombardi, the mother of 1st Ward Alderman John Lombardi III, agreed to the settlement Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. 

City Attorney John J. Ottaviano said settling the case means the city can now move forward with a separate legal issue with the Lockport Professional Firefighters Association union.

Two weeks ago the LPFA filed documents stating the city's attempt at cutting minimum staffing and service levels would put residents at risk. In the filing they used Mrs. Lombardi as an example of that risk, citing that the Lockport Fire Department was unable to provide a timely medical response on the day of her death and that "she may have been saved, had the proper equipment been available."

State Supreme Court Justice Ralph A. Boniello III signed a temporary restraining order reversing the city's decision. The city and the union return to court May 28 to argue if a permanent order should be in place, or if the city will be allowed to follow through on the reductions.

The LPFA filing put the city in a tight spot, Ottaviano said. It couldn't comment on the LPFA filing without affecting the Lombardi suit, or vice-versa.

"Settlement of this case frees the city's hands to discuss the LPFA's reference to that in their filing," he said. "We couldn't even address it... anything we said could be used against us in the other suit."

The closest thing to a response from the city about the use of Lombardi's case in the LPFA filing came earlier this month when Deputy Corporation Counsel David Blackley said LPFA’s version of the story was incorrect.

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