" The liens filed on behalf of the city seeks on average $20,000 per family. The hired attorney is also hoping to recoup $50,000 from the survivor – Robert Yarbrough. The city is hoping to get that money from possible settlements and judgements from lawsuits the families have filed against several private companies they believe had a role in their loved ones deaths." Lets me understand this. A Firefighter, whose job it is to fight fires, died in the fire and his family has the right to sue and collect what could be $Millions from the companies. AND because of this and this only it appears the city wants to collect some of the monies it spent on medical support, which they estimate to be not more than $20,000 per. Well lets not take money from these POOR firemen: City of Houston: "Generous pension plan But more significant is the firefighter pension plan. Far more generous than the plans available to other city employees, the plan has two components. The standard retirement is based on firefighters' pay near the end of their career. A firefighter qualifies for a retirement after 20 years of service. Most firefighters join the department in their early 20s; they typically qualify for retirement in their early 40s. At 20 years' service, the benefit is 50 percent of a firefighter's salary for their life and the life of their spouse. Firefighters who continue to work after 20 years will see the percentage of their retirement benefit rise 3 percent for each additional year of service to a maximum of 80 percent. The amount of the benefit increases each year during retirement by 3 percent or inflation, whichever is greater. However, in addition to the standard benefit, firefighters who have served 20 years can participate in a special program called the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP. Under this plan, the city sets up an account and deposits the retirement benefit the firefighter would have earned into the account. In other words, the firefighter continues to earn his regular salary, but is also being paid his retirement, albeit into an account that the firefighter cannot access. More than a drop in the bucket The city guarantees that the participants in the plan will earn 8 percent interest on the amount in the DROP account. No money actually changes hands during the DROP period. The transactions are purely accounting entries. The firefighter is paid the total amount in the account in a lump sum upon retirement. The only thing the firefighter gives up by participating in the DROP is that the annual increase in the retirement benefit is lower at 2 percent. But payments into the account are increased by the 3 percent or cost of living during the DROP period. The DROP benefit is significantly higher than the standard benefit, so almost everyone opts into the program. This means that most firefighters who retire after 30 years will receive about 70 percent of their ending salary for life and a lump sum distribution from the DROP account of $700,000 to $1 million. A city actuary has calculated that the net present value of the retirements earned by firefighters who retired last year was about $1.6 million. The cost of such a pension plan is considerable. The budget for the current year calls for the city to contribute $91 million, or about $23,000 per firefighter. But even at that level, the city will not be funding the full cost of the plan. So the bottom line is this: The average firefighter earns about $73,000 in direct salary, and the city pays about another $34,000 in health insurance and into the firefighter's retirement account. The city also is incurring a long-term liability for the health and pension benefits that it is not currently funding." Before any of you cry to hard, suggest you go down to the VA and look at at some of the soldiers there with war wounds they are being paid a couple of thousand per month, when they die from those wounds their spouse will get nothing, they cannot sue anyone for those wounds, missing limbs or the slow painful death from the cancers of Agent Orange chemical exposure. The average pay for a Vietnam combat soldier (Infantry) was about $350 per month, not even min wage, yet many of those combat soldier will live with the health burden till it takes their life. 1977-2017, ALL firefighter in the us, total deaths: 4,493 Vietnam: 58,209 Middle East all wars: 7069 And none of these men and women are on 24, off 48 or get OVERTIME!