Settlement Reached with Firefighters’ Association on Both State and Federal Lawsuits
LA VERNE, CA (April 11, 2019) – The City of La Verne today announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with members of the La Verne Firefighters’ Association, resolving all state and federal lawsuits brought by the Association and its members. The decision to end these disruptive and adversarial matters involved united decisions by the City’s municipal self-insurance carrier, the California Joint Powers Authority, as to the monetary aspects and the City as to the non-monetary items. The monetary portion of the settlement is valued at $5.5 million. The non-monetary portion of the settlement involves various operational and managerial terms. The settlement will serve to reestablish and strengthen the City’s relationship with its firefighters.
“The City of La Verne is pleased to bring a close to the pending lawsuits with our valued employees. This resolution, while a business decision, is certainly a reasonable one and will help us resolve remaining challenges with our firefighters,” said Bob Russi, City Manager.
The City Council is happy to put the two cases behind them and, on behalf of La Verne residents and businesses, looks forward to focusing their attention on the business at hand.
In reaching this settlement, the City and the individually-named defendants did not admit liability and did not make any concessions regarding the legitimacy of the claims asserted against them.
“This is not only a reasonable settlement agreement, it is a productive one,” said Russi. “It is the best choice for allowing the City to take the lead on restoring our relationship with our firefighters and moves us away from being adversaries in court. We can now all work together for the benefit of our residents and business owners.”
To further this effort, the City has engaged Mike Messina, a professional team building and leadership consultant. Messina has provided similar services for several other municipal agencies throughout Southern California.
The City Council and staff remain committed to the City’s central objective of delivering the highest quality of services to its residents and businesses.