Are You the Victim of a Gel Fire Pot Explosion?
Having a gel fire pot is a simple way to stay warm on colder nights, but based on the results of a recent lawsuit, having one of those pots might be dangerous. Gel fire pots are small devices that sit right on the top of any table. Though designed for outdoor use, some owners took the pots inside to keep warm on chilly days. The pots use a type of gel fuel that the manufacturers claimed was safe for home use. Available from several companies, these pots come with a high risk of explosion that can cause burns and other injuries. If you used one of these gel pots and suffered an injury, we can help.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is an agency responsible for ensuring the safety of consumers. Following a rash of incidents involving gel fire pots between 2009 and 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on those products. Twelve different companies that manufactured and sold the pots found themselves at the center of the recall. According to the CPSC, these pots caused nearly 80 injuries and led to the deaths of two people. The stores that sold the pots placed recall notices in stores, but if you shop at those stores rarely, you may not know about the recall.
Chris Kutsor Case
At the center of the recall was a lawsuit filed by the parents of Chris Kutsor. Kutsor was a 24-year-old Michigan native using one of the pots with his girlfriend, sister and some friends. When one of the young woman added more fuel to the pot, it ignited when it touched the existing flame and created large flames that quickly spread across the area. Kutsor suffered numerous injuries from the flames, which set him on fire, and his preteen sister nearly suffered some injuries as well. Though Kutsor recovered from the incident, he spent some time in the burn unit of a local hospital. The family of the young man settled out of court, and reports indicate that the family received more than $200,000. A similar incident led to a young woman experiencing burns over the majority of her body.
Risk of Injury
Gel fire pots use a gel type of fuel as opposed to the traditional liquid fuel used in other devices. As the gel is thicker in consistency, it tends to cling to the skin, hair and clothing, which can worsen burns. In the case of Kutsor, his family and friends attempted to extinguish the flames with water, but the flames continued clinging to his skin. Reports indicate that the young man was still smoldering when paramedics arrived on the scene. The consistency and strength of the flames produced by the gel led to industry experts referring to the devices as napalm.
Lack of Recall Notices
Though the CSPC recalled many of the gel fire pots on the market in 2011, not all consumers were aware of the potential problems. The organization admitted that several dozen people called with complaints after the recall went out and that a larger number of consumers expressed interest in filing lawsuits against the manufacturers. According to the federal laws in place, the shops responsible for selling recalled products must place notice of the recall in stores and on shelves, but the lack of information sent to the homes of shoppers left a large number of people at risk of injuries caused by the fire pots.
Did a Loved One Suffer an Injury?
Burns are the most common types of injuries suffered by those who used gel fire pots. While one of the manufacturers of those devices claimed that it only received back a small percentage of pots due to the recall and that the majority of consumers found the products safe, others pointed out the high risk of these units falling or tipping over. As some manufacturers produced the pots in designs that resembled turtles in other fun designs, this increases the risks of injuries suffered by children.
As a parent, you put the health and well-being of your children above everything else. Even if you heard about the recall and sent back your gel fire pot or threw it away, you might still find yourself recovering from an injury that affected a child or a loved one in your home. No one wants to picture their child covered in flames, but if you witnessed this or something similar, you can get in touch with us to find out more about filing a lawsuit.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Even while using a gel fire pot safely, some users experienced problems and issues that led to burn and other serious health conditions. Burns on your hands can keep you from working at your job, and burns that spread across your back or to other parts of your body can leave you in intense pain. No matter how serious your burns were, you deserve some compensation. The manufacturers of those fire pots still deny that the pots were a danger and often claim that it was user error that led to explosions and fires. Today is the day that you can make those companies pay for what their products did to you.
Emotional Pain and Suffering
When the family of Kutsor filed a lawsuit, they did so in part because of the emotional pain and suffering of his younger sister. Not only did the preteen see her brother on fire, but the flames jumped from his body and moved towards her. Witnesses on the scene claimed that the young girl almost caught on fire herself and that she was only saved by an adult on the scene. Seeing something you trust to use around your home catch on fire or explode can make you distrustful of other items and change the way you think when around fireplaces and heaters. We believe that you deserve compensation for both your medical bills and your emotional pain and suffering.