Contributed photo

Frank Kulon

Artist wins right to sue fire departments

NEVERSINK, NY — The New York State Appellate court ruled on June 7 that a local artist could go ahead with a lawsuit against the Liberty Fire Department and three other fire departments.

A lower court had ruled that Frank Kulon had waited too long to file the lawsuit and it dismissed the lawsuit in January of 2017, but the higher court overturned the decision. The higher court said that lower court had granted Kulon permission to file a late claim, and that once that happened, the clock for filing the lawsuit was restarted; given the reboot, Kulon filed within the appropriate time.

According to court papers filed in November 2014, when one of the fire trucks showed at Kulon’s burning home in February 2014, the truck had no water. The court documents said, “According to the records provided by the Liberty Fire District, the respondents arrived on the scene within 15 minutes of petitioner’s 911 call; however, the responding fire apparatus lacked water. Respondents did not arrive at the scene with a properly equipped truck for at least an additional 30 minutes. This substantial delay allowed the fire to spread considerably, which resulted in far more extensive damage to petitioner’s home and the contents thereof than a proper response would have allowed. As a consequence of Respondents’ grossly negligent response to the fire, petitioner’s home was destroyed, along with many of his personal belongings.”

Along with the Liberty Fire Department, the lawsuit also names the Loch Sheldrake Fire Department, the Graham-sville Volunteer Fire Department and the Neversink Fire Department.

Kulon made a name for himself with a series of paintings that depicted local officials in various states of undress and with unusual flourishes such as with horns or oversized, pointed ears.

 

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