A lawsuit has been filed arising out of the flash explosion from a small fire pot that badly burned Chris Kutsor, a young Alabamian, in May 2011. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Madison County, names as Defendants Bird Brain Inc., the gel manufacturer, and Missouri-based Gerson Company, the fire pot maker. The suit also names Big Lots, which sold the fuel gel, and TJX, the parent company of Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, which sold the fire pot as additional Defendants.
Fuel gel fires have injured at least 86 people in the U.S. and caused two deaths since 2010, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In September 2011, the CPSC announced a recall of gel fuels by nine manufacturers, including Bird Brain Inc. The fuel pots have not been banned, but federal regulators are in the midst of rule-making that could lead to a ban, expanded warning requirements or changes in manufacturing standards.
The gel is designed to be poured into a pot, often a metal cup inside a small decorative form. Injuries have most often occurred, according to regulators, when someone is refueling a pot that has recently been in use and appears to have burned out. But the flame can be difficult to see and vapors from inside the gel container can be ignited by the flame, causing an explosion. Apparently, that’s what happened in this case. Eric Artrip, a Huntsville lawyer, is handling this case.
Source: The Huntsville Times and USA Today
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