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Judge dismisses suit against Middleburg fire department

Loudoun County Circuit Court judge Burke McCahill has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit fired against the Middleburg Volunteer Fire Department, its former president John Brad Draisey and Loudoun County fire-rescue chief W. Keith Brower.

Though McCahill granted the motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds of sovereign immunity, he did give the plaintiffs an opportunity to file an amended complaint, though he stipulated the new suit must contain new evidence.

The original lawsuit was filed on behalf Nathan Smith's wife and four children. In July of 2011, Smith collapsed at his home in Upperville with heart problems. Because of disputes within the fire department, the Middleburg Fire Station was unmanned when Smith collapsed, forcing the Aldie rescue station to respond. He arrived at the hospital about 100 minutes after he collapsed. He died shortly upon arrival.

Javad Khan and the Smith family allege that the additional time it took Aldie to travel the extra distance contributed to his death.

Khan and the family have until Jan. 10 to file a new complaint.


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