Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Fires, Explosions and Burn Injury LawsuitsConnect with an attorney
Sudden explosions, property fires and defective products can cause serious, life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one has been severely burned or has suffered wrongful death due to a fire caused by negligence, we’re here to help you seek damages and see that those responsible are brought to justice.
Our Experience in Burn Injury Lawsuits
Motley Rice attorneys actively litigate complex fire cases involving personal injury and wrongful death. We represent residents, first responders, employees, consumers, travelers and other members of the public who have been permanently harmed in catastrophic fires and explosions. Our catastrophic injury attorneys have handled litigation related to hotel fires, transportation fires, industrial and commercial fires, vacation rental fires, and post-accident fires in planes and motor vehicles.
Additionally, we have been actively involved in fire, explosion and burn injury cases concerning:
- Defective or unsafe products
- Industrial and commercial locations
- Multi-family and private homes
- Public and private transportation, including planes and motor vehicles
We have the experience and resources necessary to conduct and review fire investigations and to identify the possible legal responsibilities of the involved parties. If you are interested in exploring your legal rights related to a fire tragedy, contact attorneys Kevin Dean or Anne McGinness Kearse by email or call 1 800.768.4026.
Severe Fire Injury Lawsuits: Product Liability Cases and Premise Liability Cases
Depending on individual case facts and state laws, landowners, property managers, and, in some situations, business suppliers, may be held responsible for failing to maintain safe conditions or comply with standards. These cases frequently involve factors such as sprinklers, smoke alarms, fire escapes and the inappropriate storage of flammable materials in residential buildings and homes, workplace structures such as office buildings, manufacturing plants or refineries, or public areas.
Although product liability laws vary by state, some statutes may allow fire victims and their families to seek recovery of damages from manufacturers, distributors or vendors of products that are unsafe or defective, as well as for a company's failure to warn of product dangers and risks.
Along with fighting for your rights and for just compensation for injuries sustained, we also strive to encourage changes in safety standards that may prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Burn Injury Cases
Exploding Lithium-ion Batteries
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are commonly used to power some of the latest in high-tech devices, including smartphones (iPhones and androids), laptops, tablets, cameras, watches, hoverboards, e-cigarettes and more. While they’re recognized for their ability to store more energy than most other batteries, lithium-ion batteries can be unstable. If damaged or defective, they may unexpectedly explode or ignite in flames, potentially causing consumers to suffer severe burns, facial fractures, broken teeth and other injuries.
Our catastrophic injury attorneys have experience litigating, and are reviewing claims of harm regarding lithium-ion batteries as well as exploding e-cigarettes.
Golf Cart Electrical Fires
We have investigated several fires involving golf carts that exploded and caused fatalities, significant injuries and catastrophic damage to homes. In one case involving minors, we reached a multi-million dollar settlement for the surviving children of a couple who tragically lost their lives in a house fire allegedly caused by the electrical wiring in a defective golf cart.
Firepot Burn Injury Lawsuits
Outdoor gel firepots or firelites—popular as entertainment fixtures for their warm lighting and insect-fighting citronella options—have been known to explode, resulting in property damage and severe injuries, including second and third degree burns.
Following a series of burn injury and explosion reports to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) starting in April 2010, the CPSC issued a recall of the gel used in firepots in June 2011 and provided a warning to consumers about the dangers of Napa firepots.
Some of the gel for firepots, including those manufactured and sold to retailers by NAPA Home and Garden and BirdBrain, Inc., were comprised of more than 90% ethyl alcohol, a volatile and highly flammable liquid with vapors denser than that of propane. Some of the reports of severe burns involved people whose skin and clothing were covered with the flammable gel following a firepot explosion, making it difficult to put out the flames and injuring not only the person on fire but also the person trying to extinguish the flames.
The Motley Rice catastrophic injury team has successfully represented many victims injured as a result of firepot explosions and continues to fight for the manufacturers and retailers responsible to be held accountable for the devastating damage that has been caused.
Charleston Firefighters and the 2007 Sofa Super Store Fire
On June 18, 2007, a tragic furniture store fire claimed the lives of nine firefighters – the most lost in a single event since the 9/11 attacks. Motley Rice attorneys served as lead counsel for families of the “Fallen Nine,” obtaining a significant settlement, in addition to pushing for safety reforms that were made within the fire department.
ConAgra Industrial Fire
On June 9, 2009, a Slim Jim factory owned by ConAgra in Garner, N.C., exploded, injuring dozens of workers and killing four. Motley Rice attorneys represented the family of one of the deceased as well as several injured workers against ConAgra and additional defendants, alleging, among other things, that the defendants were negligent in installing a new water heater at the plant and allowing the natural gas line intended to fuel the new heater to be discharged into the factory. ConAgra ultimately settled with the plaintiffs for $3.7 million and the North Carolina Department of Labor later found the ConAgra plant responsible for 27 workplace violations.
Space Heater Fires
Some space heaters may contain defects and when operated may cause damaging fires leading to serious injuries and potential fatalities. Motley Rice attorneys are reviewing potential cases involving these and other similar instances.
Gas Can Explosions
Motley Rice attorneys continue to review potential cases involving gas cans that do not have “flame arrestor” shields at the mouth of the container. The lack of these shields may cause gasoline vapors to ignite outside of the container and travel inward, causing injurious flashback explosions. Serious, permanent injuries, including burns or even fatalities, have occurred in some cases.
While often used for outdoor parties to add light and ward off bugs, like firepots, tiki torches can also pose a serious danger if they fall, and their fuel spills, causing severe burns. Motley Rice attorneys have experience in similar cases and will review potential tiki torch lawsuits.