Burn Injuries From Gel Fuel

On September 1, 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), together with nine manufacturers, announced a recall of all pourable fuel gels used in fire pots. This move was in reaction to a number of cases in which consumers suffered moderate to severe burns when the fuel gel in their fire pots exploded. At the time of the recall, there had been 65 incidences reported, with two of those resulting in the death of the victim.  If you or a loved one have suffered from a gel fuel burn injury it is vitally important you seek the legal counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced gel fuel burn attorney in Pittsburgh, PA ASAP.

Because the fuel gel formula sticks to skin, gel fuel burns can be extremely painful and severe. Victims of these types of burns are eligible to file personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturers. The burn injury attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA at Chaffin Luhana have been following these cases since they began, and stand ready to assist injured parties in recovering the damages they are entitled to.

Victims’ Lives Shattered by Gel Fuel Burns

In June 2011, the New York Times reported on two victims of gel fuel burns who had their lives changed in an instant. The first, a 14-year-old Long Island boy, was at a backyard wedding reception when his cousin went to light a ceramic firepot. The resulting explosion deposited burning gel all over the boy, sending him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

These firepots—also called “personal fire pits”’ “fire bowls” or “flame pots”—are popular backyard candle-like fixtures that lend ambiance and warmth to outdoor areas of the home. People have enjoyed them on porches, during barbeques, at picnics, and while socializing in other outdoor settings.

Marketed as a safe, pourable gel, was a liquid substance similar to gasoline, but stickier. With alcohol as a base, it was extremely flammable, and spread easily. With the gel-like consistency, it stuck to skin, resisting extinguishing.

Because the fuel is smokeless and odorless, and because the flame was often invisible in the fire pot, consumers sometimes poured the gel on top of a pot that was still burning, unbeknownst to them. A Manhattan man was spending time on his friend’s terrace when he went to replenish a pot he thought had burned out. He added more fuel, heard a bang, and found his friend covered in flaming jelly. He tried dousing the fire with a blanket, but the flame didn’t go out—instead, according to him, the blanket caught on fire, too. Only water put out the rest of the fire.

Too Little, Too Late on Gel Fuel Recall

Manufacturers worked with the CPSC to recall gel fuel in 2011, but victims of gel fuel burns may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Plaintiffs who have done so claim the companies should have provided better warnings about the risks, and should have improved the design of the gel before releasing it onto the market where it could cause such serious injuries. The 2011 recall was implemented too late to save a number of victims from life-altering traumas.  If you or someone you care for is one of these individuals who have suffered from a serious gel fuel burn injury, contact our Chaffin Luhana Pittsburgh, PA personal injury lawyers for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation.

Other similarly dangerous products have also allegedly caused injuries, including Big Lots Tabletop Torches. The company recalled these in 2013. The CPSC stated that “once lit, the glass citronella table torches can flare up and emit burning lamp oil onto consumers and property, posing fire and burn hazards.”

Your Pittsburgh, PA Gel Fuel Burn Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one suffered gel fuel burns while using a fire pot or other similar product, contact the team of attorneys at Chaffin Luhana. We have unique experience in these cases, and understand how manufacturers dropped the ball when it came to safety. Our goal is to obtain the optimal level of damages to help you fully recover from the incident. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.