World and Nation

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Boston Firefighters Killed in Fire Said to Have Had Drugs in System

Autopsies on two Boston firefighters who were killed while battling a restaurant blaze in August revealed that one had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit and the other had cocaine in his system, news media outlets here reported Thursday.

The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald reported that autopsies showed that one of the firefighters, Paul Cahill, had a blood alcohol content of 0.27 and that the other, Warren Payne, had traces of cocaine in his system. The legal blood alcohol limit in Massachusetts is 0.08.

Autopsy results are not public records in Massachusetts.

Responding to the reports, Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Thursday called for an independent review of fire department procedures regarding drug and alcohol use.

“The scope of the investigation or review is still to be determined, but it will certainly focus on the issues surrounding this case,” said Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Menino, who said the mayor had not seen the autopsy reports. “He wants to reassure the public that the Boston Fire Department is strong and competent, and with all the information in the public right now, he believes this is the appropriate action at this time.”

Record Labels Win Suit Against Song File Sharer

In a crucial legal victory for record labels and other copyright owners, a federal jury on Thursday found a Minnesota woman liable for copyright infringement for sharing music online and imposed a penalty of $222,000 in damages.

The verdict against Jammie Thomas, a mother of two from Brainerd, Minn., brought an end to the first jury trial in the music industry’s protracted effort to rein in piracy with lawsuits against individual computer users. Since 2003, record labels have brought legal action against about 30,000 people, accusing them of trafficking in copyrighted songs.

Many of the people sued in such cases settle out of court for, on average, about $4,000, according to the industry’s trade association. Thomas chose to face trial instead, saying that she did not share files on the Kazaa network as the labels contended. She and her lawyer declined to comment after leaving the courthouse.

The jury verdict, which called for $9,250 in damages for each of the 24 songs involved in the trial, came after brief deliberations.

Earlier, the judge in the case, Michael J. Davis of U.S. District Court, ruled in the industry’s favor on a hotly contested technical question, saying that the labels did not have to prove that songs on Thomas’ computer had actually been transmitted to others online in order for jurors to find her liable.