Lawsuit alleges negligence in 2016 death of HFD firefighter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawsuit alleges negligence in 2016 death of HFD firefighter

Cliff Rigsbee (Image: Honolulu Fire Department) Cliff Rigsbee (Image: Honolulu Fire Department)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The son of a Honolulu firefighter who died after a training accident in 2016 has filed a lawsuit against the city.

In June of last year, 63-year-old Cliff Rigsbee was riding a rescue sled during an offshore training exercise near Kaimana Beach Park.

After plowing through a series of large waves, he went unconscious. 

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleges that training officials did not adequately evaluate the risk prior to the start of the training exercise by failing to heed a high surf advisory that was in effect for the area. The suit also alleges overall negligence during the training.

According to the suit, Rigsbee suffered fatal blunt force injuries to his head and neck. He died after 60 hours in the hospital.

The fire department paid a $15,000 fine for not having adequate safety planning for the exercise, and says it has improved safety procedures. 

The lawsuit seeks payment to cover attorneys' fees and pain and suffering.

Earlier this year, a popular Waikiki triathalon was renamed in his honor. Rigsbee was respected for his community service and athletic ability.

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