Gas Can Lawsuits
Manufacturing and design defects common in many portable gasoline containers can result in severe injuries and burns for young children as well as adults. Safer alternative designs and proper warnings could prevent many devastating burns and injuries from spills or gas can explosions.
STATUS OF GAS CAN LITIGATION: Lawsuits have been successfully brought against the makers of plastic gas cans, as well as against the retailers who have sold dangerous containers. Despite the litigation, many unsafe gas cans continue to be sold.
OVERVIEW: Devastating third degree burn injuries and death are commonly associated with defective gas cans, which often carry five gallons of gasoline and are left in garages and homes, within easy reach of children.
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Failure to warn and design defect lawsuits have been brought against manufacturers of portable gasoline cans. The most common allegations of design defects in plastic gas cans involve:
- Lack of Child Resistant Gas Can Caps
- Lack of Flame Arrestor in the Gas Can Spout
- Lack of Closures Which Reduce the Risk of Gas Can Spills
Gas Can Caps: Child Resistant Closures
For years, makers of plastic gas cans have sold containers which do not contain any child resistant closures. Although the Poison Prevention Packaging Act has required child safety caps on toxic and flammable substances used in and around the home, manufacturers relied on a loophole in the law since their containers are sold empty.
In July 2008, the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act was passed into law, requiring all gas cans sold on or after January 17, 2009 to be sold with child resistant safety caps. However, hundreds of thousands of gas cans are still in homes throughout the United States with these unsafe and defective caps which over 80% of children under the age of 6 are able to quickly open.
Young children often attempt to imitate their parents, and most cases involving severe gas burns for kids under 6 stem from situations where they removed the cap and attempted to pour gasoline on a toy mower or their bicycle. As a result of the weight of the 5 gallon gasoline containers, the children often end up covered in gas, and they can suffer severe injuries if the vapors ignite.
Child resistant caps generally only cost a few pennies more than standard caps, yet manufacturers have resisted putting the safety caps on the gas cans.
Gas Can Spouts: Flame Arrestors and Spillproof Closures
Two other inexpensive safety features which many gas cans do not have are flame arrestors and spill proof closures.
Flame arrestors are a simple feature, which usually costs under 50 cents to add to a container. They are designed with small holes within the gas can spout, which prevent flames from flashing back into the container. The “technology” has been around for over 200 years, as it was originally designed to prevent explosions when coal miners carrying lanterns entered a pocket of gas within a mine. They are now used in a number of different products, including certain bottles of Bacardi Rum.
GAS CAN WARNINGS
Many gas can lawsuits filed allege a failure to warn about the dangers associated with the design. In many cases, gas can makers mold the warnings into the side of the container. The small raised letters in the red plastic are often not noticed by users or so difficult to read that they can not reasonably convey information.
LarryDecember 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm
What happened to having parents educate the child on proper use or no use of the gas can without putting 102 people out of work? Might I ask how much money the lawyer is profiting from this case. Looks like lawsuit abuse to me. Parents have to have a large degree of liability when it comes to educating their own children about this dangerous world they choose to live in.
Gas Can Lawsuit Filed Over Explosion Caused by Lack of Flame Arrestor : AboutLawsuits.comFebruary 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm
[...] gas can lawsuit was filed on February 17, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, [...]
Free Market TerrorismSeptember 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm
The best part of this article was its explaining the type of "arrestor" that is often found in "Bacardi bottles"...I believe it is the little plastic device that prevents one from pouring alcohol back into the bottle, if too much is poured out, and I thought that to be its original intent... It is sad that manufacturers are allowed to sell items to unwary consumers that could potentially explode.[Show More]The best part of this article was its explaining the type of "arrestor" that is often found in "Bacardi bottles"...I believe it is the little plastic device that prevents one from pouring alcohol back into the bottle, if too much is poured out, and I thought that to be its original intent... It is sad that manufacturers are allowed to sell items to unwary consumers that could potentially explode...terrorists are beaten and imprisoned for the same thing, and actually get no monetary rewards from consumers! When will capitalist manufacturers realize that too far is too far, especially where safety and the taking of lives is concerned...between plastics that cause cancer and explode, ceramic vessels that causes poisoning, and many other items sold in markets world wide, ESPECIALLY food from China that kills pets, and other foods that poison humans, shame on the "free market economy"...there is nothing "free" about it, especially the high prices paid for deaths that manufacturers intentionally refused to avoid, and in many cases, intentionally "overlooks"! I hope the price paid in hell for a CARELESS free market economy is "redeemable"!!!
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