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Firefighter Applicant Sues To Get Job After Repeatedly Failing Physical Test

Kevin Walker repeatedly failed the NYFD's physical test, so he figured he would just get the job by suing the city.

New York, NY – An entitled aspiring firefighter who flunked the New York Fire Department’s physical test on three occasions filed a lawsuit against the city, demanding to be given the job regardless of his failures.

Kevin Walker, 47, previously received a payout of $22,500 in 2014, when he was a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit that accused the NYFD of discriminating against applicants based on their race, the New York Post reported.

That lawsuit settled for $100 million, and required NYFD officials to consider the suit’s plaintiffs as “priority hire” applicants.

Walker passed the qualifying exam, but couldn’t manage to get through the physical testing, despite multiple tries.

He made his first attempt on May 13, 2013, but kept grabbing the wall and handrail while on the stair machine, according to court documents.

Walker took another stab at the test a week later, but “fell or dismounted” from the stair machine three times while he was still in the 20-second warmup phase.

Unwilling to admit defeat, Walker accused the test proctor of making a mistake, and the NYFD agreed to let him try the test one more time.

Walker was still performing the seventh challenge – and had another one to go – when he ran out of time on the 10 min, 20 second test.

Although he wasn’t wearing a watch, Walker insisted he still had time to spare.

“Petitioner was going through the obstacle course even quicker than prior occasions but was suddenly stopped [with less than a minute to complete the obstacle course] by the examiner he had complained about claiming the time was up,” Walker said in the lawsuit.

When his attempts to appeal the failed physical tests were denied, Walker filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court.

In the suit, he asked the court to award him “the position of firefighter, with the seniority he would have if not for the irrational disqualification,” the New York Post reported.

“He petitioned the court to just put him in,” an NYFD source told the paper. “That’s absurd if you’ve already proven…that you can’t get it done.”

The city fought back against the allegations, and noted that Walker had no evidence to support his claims that he was treated unfairly due to his prior lawsuit against the city.

“Petitioner provides no basis, other than his alleged ‘thought’ or ‘belief,’ to support his assertion that the proctor even knew that petitioner was a lead plaintiff in the [previous] lawsuit,” the city’s motion to dismiss read.

On Dec. 14, 2018, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carmen Victoria St. George determined that Walker’s place on the list of eligible applicants had expired, and that handing him a position within the NYFD would therefore be unconstitutional.

She dismissed his lawsuit, and encouraged him to try retaking the test in the future.

Walker and his attorney did not respond to requests for comment after the judge’s decision, the New York Post reported.

Holly Matkin - January Wed, 2019


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