Over a year ago Bordas & Bordas, PLLC brought you information about the massive safety concerns surrounding exploding gas cans and how the manufactures of those gas cans could take a simple and inexpensive step to avoid catastrophic injury to their consumers. This story is now making national news. NBC News Investigations has prepared an investigative article about this issue. The story aired on the TODAY SHOW on December 4, 2013. The story highlighted that after significant testing and inquiries, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a statement calling on the consumer gas can industry to incorporate flame-arrester technology into gasoline containers. For your ease and enjoyment, we have republished attorney Jeremy McGraw's previous article on the topic below:
Nearly all of us are familiar with red portable gas cans. We keep them in our garages and outbuildings and use them to fuel our lawn mowers, generators, and other small engine tools and equipment around our homes and at work. These portable gas cans are relatively cheap and can be picked up at about any store. Many of these cans, however, pose a danger that can simply be prevented. Exploding gas cans have killed and injured many people over the years. In 2008 Dan Rather conducted a lengthy investigation into exploding gas cans and his entire report is viewable on You Tube. As one might expect, civil litigation has followed.
Through investigation, discovery, and government and independent research studies, it has been determined that the inclusion of a "flame arrestor" on gas cans greatly reduces the chance of any gas can ignition. These arrestors largely prevent open flames from entering into a gas can through the pour spout and igniting the vapors and fluid in the can. One might expect these flame arrestors to be expensive complex units, but the truth of the matter is that a simple piece of metal mesh is all that is needed to reduce the risk of these types of explosions. The cost of producing and including such flame arrestors is in reality less than one dollar.
In 2011, Dan Rather returned to his 2008 investigation with an update. Unfortunately, even after additional research and publicity on the issue manufactures have continued to exclude the inexpensive arrestors on their products. One major producer of gas cans, Blitz USA, has been the subject of several cases involving the explosion of gas cans without flame arrestors. In those cases it has been shown that Blitz USA simply decided to avoid the extra cost of installing the cheap flame arrestors to keep its costs down and increase profit. Not surprisingly, the big business interest groups have latched onto the Blitz USA cases to push their tort reform agenda. Sadly, chasing the almighty dollar takes priority over the hideous burns, scarring, deaths and other personal injuries that result from not including this simple safety feature.
For more information about the big business tort reform agenda and the lengths that these special interests have gone to in order to limit the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens check out the very informative documentary "Hot Coffee." The Blitz USA cases stand as simply another example of large companies choosing profits over people. Bordas & Bordas, PLLC has consistently taken on large companies that have chosen profits over people. Our verdicts and settlements in such cases stand as a testament to those injured people who have decided to stand up for the rights of all Americans. The more people who join together to beat back the corporate malefactors who refuse to do the right thing and implement safety features to protect the public, the better off we'll all be.