City of Erie, Penn., to Pay $207K in Firefighter’s Firing Lawsuit

February 10, 2012

The city of Erie will pay nearly $207,000 to a firefighter who was wrongly dismissed following a 2006 suicide attempt in which she set clothes on fire in a bathtub.

U.S. District Judge Sean McLaughlin tallied the award a day after a jury found that Mary Wolski’s firing violated the Americans With Disabilities Act because she was being medicated for depression in December 2006. Wolski was distraught over her mother’s death and set the fire at her father’s vacant home.

The Erie Times-News says Wolski must be rehired to the next available post, and receive nearly $183,000 in back pay. She’s also due nearly $24,000 insurance premiums, penalties for IRA withdrawals and money she took out of her pension fund while unemployed.

The city had argued that arson was a legitimate reason to dismiss her.

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