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Federal Signal litigation As the attorney representing almost 2,500 plaintiff firefighters in mass tort cases against Federal Signal Corp., I am compelled to the set the public record straight and respond to the Aug. 13 letter from Jennifer Sherman, Federal Signal’s vice president, general counsel and secretary. For the last eight years, Federal Signal has concealed its creation and participation in concocting a junk science defense to my firefighter hearing loss suits, and has concealed key documentary evidence concerning its public relations campaign to deny the hazards its sirens pose every day. That’s why Justice Robert E. Gordon granted my motion for sanctions, finding specifically: “In this case, many of the answers to plaintiffs’ notices to produce were false.” For the last 30 years, Federal Signal has known that sirens are ineffective and that firefighters have suffered hearing losses to a significantly higher percentage than the average population. That’s not what Jordan Margolis the plaintiffs’ lawyer says; that’s what Dr. Randy Tubbs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported from 1980 through 1995, and what U.S. Fire Administrator Olin L. Greene relied on in 1992 when he introduced the Fire and Emergency Service Hearing Conservation Program Manual with these words: “Noise is probably the most underrated health hazard affecting fire and [emergency medical services] personnel. The siren required to warn the public that emergency vehicles are approaching is just one example of the overlooked noise hazard for individuals riding the engine, truck, rescue, ambulance or other emergency vehicle…There have been a number of evaluations of fire departments that have substantiated the fact that firefighters and EMS personnel are being exposed to high noise levels with resultant hearing loss. These studies have also found a substantial increase in high frequency hearing loss related to the amount of time spent in the emergency services.” As chairman of the firefighter and EMT Hearing Loss Litigation Group of the American Association of Justice, I pledge that firefighters will finally have their day in court, and I continue to urge Federal Signal Corp. to join me in a public pronouncement that all firefighters must wear hearing protection whenever a siren is in use. First responders put their lives on the line for us every day � it’s time we look out for them. � Jordan Margolis, founding principal of the Margolis Firm in Chicago.

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