A FIREFIGHTER who suffered a bleeding scrotum in a colleague’s firework prank has been told he can’t sue for damages.
Raymond Johns, 48, was injured by a small explosive called a “snap bang”, which detonated when he sat on the loo.
Raymond Johns was injured in a prank at his fire station in Linden, New Jersey
Workmates had allegedly placed the snap bangs on the seat for a laugh at the fire station in Linden, New Jersey.
Mr Johns “heard and felt an explosion beneath him”, according to court papers.
Then he discovered “a significant amount of blood” pouring from his scrotum and a blood blister had formed.
He also found the remnants of a snap bang – a small paper bundle that explodes when compressed or thrown.
He was diagnosed with a second-degree burn on his scrotum and a bruised left testicle and was placed off-duty for nearly two weeks after the stunt.
Fellow firefighter Thomas Wengerter admitted placing snaps around the firehouse as a prank in November 2015, reports NJ.com.
He apologised immediately and was suspended for a week.
But later he denied he was the one who placed a snap on the toilet, according to a court judgement handed down at the end of a three-year legal battle.
Mr Johns – said to earn £85,000 a year – did not lose any pay while he was on sick leave and his medical expenses were covered by his employers.
But he launched a lawsuit seeking personal damages from Mr Wengerter in March 2016.
In response, the prankster filed a complaint against the city of Linden, claiming authorities “allowed a high degree of pranking among on-duty firefighters”.
The case was thrown out by a judge in 2017, who ruled the injury was covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act.
It bans lawsuits in cases of “horseplay or skylarking on the part of a fellow employee”.
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Mr Wengerter did not intend to cause Mr Johns harm, the court ruled.
Appeal judges agreed. They said this week: “There is no suggestion on the record that Wengerter was aware that the particular circumstances of the prank that injured Johns was substantially certain to result in a physical injury.
“Nor is there a suggestion in the record that Wengerter intentionally set out to harm Johns or anyone else with his ill-advised plan to play pranks while he was at work.”
Mr Johns was potentially entitled to workplace compensation, the court said, but he did not file a claim and chose to sue instead.
The scrotum injury was caused by a snap bang, which explodes when compressed
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