An NBC News investigation has made alarming findings about a common consumer product. According to researchers, portable plastic gasoline containers – often red in color– create a "rare but real explosion hazard" to consumers. Although rare, many consumers use or have portable plastic gas cans, making incidents of explosions more frequent than one might think. According to industry estimates, Americans buy roughly 20 million gasoline containers each year. In the U.S., it is currently estimated that there are more than 100 million plastic gas cans in circulation.
With research results in hand, NBC News requested the federal government's Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to analyze injury and fatality data associated with the portable containers. CPSC ultimately found that since 1998, there have been a number of explosion incidents associated with the product, including:
- 11 reported deaths
- 1,200 emergency room visits
The risk of explosions occurs under certain limited conditions, when gas vapor mixtures explode inside of the cans. For a nearby consumer, these explosions can cause significant injuries, including severe burns and loss of fingers or limbs. Several other studies have supported claims that "flashback" explosions during the pouring of gasoline from a portable container are a real possibility.
Compensation for Injured Victims
Throughout the years, there has been much legal controversy between manufacturers and consumers who were injured by the containers. According to NBC News, approximately 80 product liability claims have been filed on behalf of victims injured by gas can explosions. Defendants include manufacturers such as Blitz USA and retailers such as Wal-Mart.
Many of the injuries associated with gas can explosions have been horrific and devastating for victims and families. Two victims profiled by NBC News suffered severe burns over more than 75% of their bodies – one 19-year-old victim died from his injuries. Following stories such as these and several studies, legal advocates are vocalizing their concerns that the gas cans are unsafe and defective for not containing a part known as a fire arrester, which could prevent explosions. For now, the legal battle will continue.
Houston Product Liability Lawyer
At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team is passionate about fighting on behalf of victims and families who have suffered damages through no fault of their own. Product liability claims can be difficult and hotly contested by large corporations, but our experience and resources enable our team to fight effectively for complete justice. To learn more about filing a product liability claim with the assistance of our firm, call (888) 273-1045.