A Midwest gas can explosion lawyer can assist individuals who have been injured after the product exploded without warning. Millions of Americans use portable plastic gas cans to fill their lawnmowers, ATVs and other equipment. Despite industry standards and government regulations, many consumer portable gas cans are not equipped with important safety features that could potentially help prevent gas can explosions. Affected individuals and their families may be eligible to seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a product liability attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Midwest gas can explosion lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Midwest Gas Can Explosion Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen Midwest gas can explosion lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by a Midwest gas can explosion and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others with the help of a Midwest gas can explosion lawyer. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is a Midwest Gas Can?
Midwest gas cans are portable fuel containers made by Midwest Can Company, a company dedicated solely to the production of portable fuel containers that are designed to provide safe gasoline storage for a wide variety of uses. According to the company website, Midwest gas cans have a wide base design and lower center of gravity that reduce tipping as well as “easy-flow/spill proof” spouts for easy pouring when and where consumers want it.
What is a Flame Arrester?
Flame arresters are small screens designed to stop fuel combustion by extinguishing a flame or keeping it from expanding in a container, such as a plastic consumer gas can. A flame arrester works by filtering out a flame or spark, suppressing any outside vapors that may become ignited if they manage to reenter or “flashback” into the can.
Despite Midwest Can’s claim of superiorly designed portable gas cans as well as their can’s ability to meet EPA/CARB compliant standards, their gas cans reportedly do not contain a flame arrester, which can allegedly increase a can’s risk of exploding and causing harm to individuals that use the product.
Inquiries by NBC News as well as injury reports and flame arrester engineering led the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a statement calling for the consumer gas can industry to include flame arrester technology into its portable fuel containers along with the standards already in place. While flame arrester technology is not mandated on consumer gas cans, it is yet to be seen when companies will begin to implement the filters on their own.
Consumer Gas Can Explosion Lawsuit Claims
According to an NBCNews.com report, investigators discovered that consumer gas cans sold throughout the United States pose an explosion hazard, although that risk may be rare. Approximately 20 million consumer gas cans—the red, plastic containers many Americans have stashed in their garages and toolsheds— are purchased every year in the United States.
Since 1998, incident and injury databases indicated at least 11 reported deaths and 1,200 emergency room visits have occurred involving gas can explosions. Additionally, researchers determined that “flashback” explosions inside gas cans are possible, under certain limited conditions, the news agency reported.
Over 80 lawsuits have been filed over the past two decades alleging that consumers were injured, through no fault of their own, after gas cans exploded as a result of flashback ignitions. Attorneys argued that portable gas cans, such as the one’s produced by Midwest Can Company, are dangerous and unsafe due to the possibility of flashback explosions.
A Midwest gas can explosion lawyer notes that many lawsuits have been filed against Blitz USA, the largest manufacturer of gas cans until filing for bankruptcy in 2012, and retail giant Wal-Mart. Numerous injuries and several deaths were linked to explosions from Blitz gas cans, and lawsuits alleged that many of those explosions could have been prevented had the cans been equipped with flame arresters.
Gas Can Accidents
Although gas can explosions rarely occur, injuries that may result can be catastrophic. All gas cans contain information warning consumers of the possible risks of exploding vapors and potential ignition by flames or sparks many feet from the cans themselves.
Injuries that may occur as a result of a gas can explosion include:
- Severe burns
Some individuals who have suffered injuries were required to have numerous surgeries and skin grafts as a result of gas can explosions. Likewise, individuals injured in gas can explosions may incur large medical bills as well as psychological and emotional pain and suffering. A Midwest gas can explosion lawyer can assist people who have been injured after the gas cans have exploded without warning.
Has There Been Midwest Gas Can Recall?
Although there has not been Midwest gas can recall, lawsuits claim that the product manufacturers failed to disclose warnings of the known dangers associated with flashback explosions and that individuals suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn of the dangers of a product can be a basis of product liability, regardless of whether the product has been recalled.
Is There Midwest gas can Class Action?
There is no Midwest gas can class action pending as of August 2016. Midwest gas can explosion lawyers are doubtful that a class action will be certified for individuals who are adversely affected by the product. Instead, if multiple Midwest gas can lawsuits are filed against the product manufacturers alleging injuries and other damages caused by Midwest gas cans and similar products, it is anticipated that these lawsuits will be consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding. MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by consumer products.
Have There Been Midwest Gas Can Settlements?
Some cases settle early in the claims process, but it is not expected that there will be early Midwest gas can explosion settlements. In most cases that proceed in an MDL or state court consolidated proceedings, after a certain period of time initial trials, also known as bellwether trials, take place. The purpose of these trials is for the parties to get an idea of the types of evidence and arguments that will made, as well as to see how juries will respond to the evidence and arguments. After a certain number of cases have been tried, the parties are in a better position to determine whether a case can be settled.
It is expected that Midwest gas can settlements will follow this pattern, although the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
In addition to potential Midwest gas can explosion settlements that may be expected, a Midwest gas can lawyer notes that Midwest Can Company settled with the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) in March 2016. After the ARB’s Monitoring and Laboratory Division tested Midwest’s gas can products, the agency discovered that the gas can company failed to meet performance standards under California Code of Regulations. After fully cooperating to correct the manufacturing defect, Midwest agreed to pay a total of $400,000 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and the School Bus and Diesel Emission Reduction Supplemental Environmental Project.
How a Midwest Gas Can Explosion Lawyer Can Help
People injured as a result of an explosion using a Midwest gas can through no fault of their own may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
The families of those who have died in Midwest gas can explosions may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one with the help of a Midwest gas can explosion lawyer.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.