If I Light a Firework, Am I Responsible for Any Injuries?
Video transcript: There’s a reason I talk about fireworks cases, because I have handled them. Fireworks, obviously, if used improperly can be very dangerous. However, fireworks also can be very dangerous when used properly.
One of the biggest things we find is problems with the fuse. There are actually government regulations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that deals with how long a fuse should burn, the minimum amount of time and the longest amount of time that a fuse should actually burn. And then the other thing we see is where you have basically too much gunpowder in these and they blow out on the sides. We had a case where a young man got his hand blown off when he went to go dump out what he thought was a spent shell out of one of these large mortars and tubes. Turned out that there was what they call a hang fire and that fuse was down there just smoldering. When he went to pick it up and dump out the what he thought was a dud, it exploded and blew his hand off at his thumb.
One of the problems we find with firework cases is I think 99% of all fireworks are made in China, so you can never find and sue the manufacturer. But fortunately, in Texas, we can sue the retailer or the distributor. The state of Texas requires firework retailers to carry a minimum of one million dollars in insurance. There’s usually an avenue of recovery in fireworks cases. However, if you have been drinking, which fireworks and alcohol usually go hand-in-hand, it makes it very difficult if you are heavily intoxicated, because a lot of times we find misuse of the firework.