Gasoline is a highly flammable material on its own. This fact makes it even more important to ensure that containers designed to carry gasoline are stable and free from explosive materials. When a container fails to fulfill this purpose, serious injuries can result. One manufacturer is in the midst of defending product liability charges from injured consumers.
Blitz, the nation’s largest manufacturer of plastic gas cans before its bankruptcy, is now out of business due to the production of an allegedly defective product. Plaintiffs claim that both Blitz and Walmart are guilty of knowingly selling defective products to the public. The defect seems to center around the lack of a flame arrester that would serve as a safety device on the plastic cans. Researchers believe that the flame arrester can reduce the likelihood of an explosion of a gas/air vapor mixture inside the gas can. Essentially, it absorbs and disperses heat so that a flame does not enter the can.
Walmart has argued that the manufacturer, Blitz, is responsible for the safety of the product and is solely responsible for the negligent manufacture of the gas cans. However, plaintiff attorneys allege that Walmart’s influence could have been used to demand a safer product from the manufacturer. Walmart has agreed to contribute about $25 million to settle the remaining lawsuits that are pending.
Products that are placed into the stream of commerce are expected to be safe. When the product injures consumers, these individuals have the right to seek compensation from manufacturers and retailers. An attorney that focuses on product liability cases can help these victims receive the compensation that they deserve.
Source: www.nbcnews.com, “Wal-Mart agrees to contribute $25 million to settle gas can explosion lawsuits,” Lisa Myers and Rich Gardella, December 4, 2013.