The headlines are shocking: fire departments sued, incident commanders charged with manslaughter, firefighters held personally liable. We have all been in classes where the instructor warns the attendees that failing to do it right could prompt Mrs. Smith to get her lawyer and sue you! But what exactly is our biggest liability? Who is most likely to sue us, and just how likely is a lawsuit? The answers will surprise you! Curt Varone has been maintaining a comprehensive database of lawsuits involving the fire service for more than nine years. The database now includes more than 11,000 cases and climbing. This program will explore that data and in the process look at the liability trends that confront the fire service. The truth is some of our biggest fears in terms of liability are largely overblown theoretical concerns – while other more threatening liability traps have gone largely unnoticed. Hard decisions need to be based in real liability challenges, not perceived or theoretical possibilities that rarely, if ever, occur. We now have the data. The program will also go beyond the data to look at examples of the most common types of cases confronting the fire service. Lesson learned as well as proactive steps will be discussed.