The Seattle Fire Fighters Union has another take on the "dancing fireman," Mark Jones, who had claimed injuries for a fall but was shown in a video that made the rounds on national TV and the Internet last week chopping wood, playing horseshoes, and dancing a jig. He didn't look severely injured, as a jury concluded, awarding him almost $13 million in compensation. But, says union leader Kenny Stuart, City Hall "put out this one sided media blitz" to pressure the courts and win an appeal.
"The video showed Mark on a good day and after all he has been through, we are very thankful he has them," says Stuart, releasing this statement:
Mark was injured at work when he woke up in the middle of the night to use the rest room and fell down the station's pole hole, falling 22 feet and landing on a concrete floor. Mark was not expected to survive his numerous injuries. These injuries included: traumatic brain injury; a collapsed right lung with a partial removal; all broken ribs on his right side in a number of places and two ribs removed; a broken back in seven places; two broken hips in five places; a ruptured bladder; a bruised liver; a broken right ankle; and several cracked teeth that had to be filed down so he could chew food...
Trying Mark in public at this point by showing a few seconds of video and omitting the facts of the case demonstrates desperation and a lack of decency. The City of Seattle released this video seemingly to demonstrate that Mark Jones was able to do things physically that the jury was told he could not do. That is simply not true. Mark's brain injury has always been his primary diagnosed disability; the jury made the decision in 2007 to place Mark on permanent disability because of his brain injury. Mark and his attorneys have never stated that he is disabled from mobile activities, such as: walking, driving a car, chopping wood, or even playing horseshoes. It is also important to note that the video deposition the City gave the media was never shown or read to the jury.
"Local 27 is extremely disappointed that the city is forced to stand by as its insurers dishonestly slander an honorable man, a military veteran, a former police officer, and a Seattle fire fighter," said Stuart. "Frankly, it is immoral and disgusting."