The parents of a Watertown firefighter who died almost two years ago while participating in a training program at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls have filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging that it caused the death of their 21-year-old son by failing to properly respond to his medical emergency.
Peyton Morse passed away on March 3rd, 2021, at Robert Packer Hospital, nine days after suffering an unknown type of medical emergency while participating in a firefighter training program. The lawsuit was filed by his parents in late January.
According to the lawsuit, Morse was training to crawl through a wooden box meant to represent a confined space when he began experiencing breathing problems. The lawsuit did not specify how much money David Morse and Stacy-Snyder Morse are seeking, but did list several state employees and academy instructors who were present at the time of Peyton’s death, claiming they were aware of his breathing complaints but compelled him to continue.
Last November, the Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation into the incident and determined that there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges in the case.
The Morse family’s lawsuit alleges that the state’s negligence and failure to provide adequate medical care contributed to Peyton’s death. The family is seeking compensation for their son’s pain and suffering, as well as any damages they have incurred as a result of his death.
The State Fire Academy has not yet commented on the lawsuit.