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Family gets $12 million for firefighter's death


St. Louis, MO – The family of a St. Louis firefighter who died on the job has been awarded $12 million in a lawsuit against the maker of breathing equipment that was used at the time.

Jurors Tuesday decided the company, Survivair, was at fault in the 2002 death of Derek Martin. The jury also determined that Survivair could be ordered to pay much more because of aggravating circumstances - a disregard for the safety of others. Jurors will decide on that amount beginning Wednesday.

At issue was whether a valve on Martin's air mask was faulty as his widow claimed, or if department procedures were at fault.

Martin and fellow firefighter Robert Morrison both died in the fire at a small commercial structure in May of 2002. Both were 38.

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