Fire Pit Liability Story One: Exploding Propane Fire Pit
It’s a beautiful summer holiday weekend, and your good friends have invited you to join them with others for an evening party at their home. It’s a jovial time, and you are sitting around your friend’s propane gas fire pit that one of the homeowners has just connected to the gas tank and ignited the flame.
This is a family party, including your own teenage daughter, who sits next to you enjoying the pleasant fire. Then all hell breaks loose!
The fire pit explodes, setting you and your daughter on fire. Both of you have pants that have ignited and are burning your flesh. You both are screaming and crying as others help you put out the flames. Both of you are driven to the emergency room, where you are treated for 2nd-degree burns of your legs, arms, and hands.
As a result of this catastrophe, it leaves permanent burn scarring on the legs of you and your teenage daughter.
Your once-good friends have now cut you off because you wish to make a claim on their homeowner’s insurance policy. It took Garrison Law Firm to finally get them to make a claim under their homeowner’s policy.
As invited guests to their home, the friends had a duty to make their premises safe for the attendees. It turns out that the incident was caused by the negligent connecting of the gas tank and line to the fire pit by the homeowner. Thankfully, the tank did not explode or more serious injuries, and more folks would have suffered serious injuries. Both mom and daughter’s claims were able to be reasonably settled with the homeowners’ insurance carrier.
Fire Pit Liability Story Two: Fiery Beach Sand
While on vacation at a beach resort, a couple’s young son decides to go for a walk on the beach around 9:00 at night. As he is walking out to the beach across the sand he steps into an area of burning hot sand giving him 2nd-degree burns on both feet.
He screams and cries in pain. His parents take him to a local hospital. The vacation is over!
It turns out that the hotel had placed an elevated above-ground wood-burning metal fire pit out on the beach for the entertainment of its residents that evening. However, shortly before this boy ventured out to the beach, the hotel staff had removed the fire pit but failed to block off the immediate area below and around the place where the fire pit sat, thereby leaving a foot-burning hazard for any unsuspecting barefoot evening beach stroller. Stupid!
This little boy ended up with permanent scarring on his feet and some permanent nerve damage.
Although this happened outside the State of Indiana, Garrison Law Firm was able to negotiate a fair settlement for this young boy, age 8. Because he was a minor, a “minor’s compromise” had to be filed in and approved by a court here in his home county of residence in Indiana so that the settlement funds could be deposited into a restricted account until he turns age 18. [Minor’s compromise is an issue for another day.]
What we can learn from these stories
The moral of these stories is that fire pits of any nature pose risks and liabilities for negligent use. Both of these incidents demonstrate that property owners have a duty to make as safe as possible the use of these fire pits, and not just to users, but also to other surrounding people.
Property owners are not strictly liable; they must be at fault.
Insurance companies will defend these cases based upon misuse by the injured party or if the pit was faulty in its design or manufacture, thereby putting the fault on someone else.
These scenarios demonstrate how dangers in general lurk around, maybe not every but too many, corners. It is important if something untoward happens to you that you get and preserve evidence, witness names and contact information, and seek immediate treatment.
In both of these actual cases described above that GLF handled, there were immediate reports made, witness information preserved, and prompt medical treatment sought. These are the items that help us here at Garrison Law Firm be able to prove that the other party was at fault and not you.
If you have had your world turned upside down by any accident, then let us guide you through the minefield of insurance defense tactics to make sure you get the money you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any other damages resulting from someone else’s negligence.
Insurance companies always want to minimize claim payment. Contact us or call now at 317-842-8283 for a free consultation. There is never a fee until we recover money for you.
**This case summary removes the party’s names and is intended to demonstrate that you may have damages from an experience that may be compensable that you had not considered. Considering such issues with a lawyer at Garrison Law Firm is easy and free. There is no attorney fee until we recover money for you. Call us about your case today.**