Firepots Are Dangerous Products

iStock_000004455667XSmall1-Citronella_CandleToday's Chicago Tribune Article on the dangerous "fire pot" consumer products raises some of the usual questions about consumer safety, the role of the civil legal system, and whether injuries are tolerated or preventable, and at what cost.

While this author knows of several local lawyers handling these types of cases currently, it is not so much just these particular products or their inherent dangers that come to mind, but rather the many products that, while regulated by government safety agencies, are still dangerous and injurious.

No one expects a perfectly safe world and the perfectly safe consumer product probably does not exist. When I was young, I know I certainly found dangers in seemingly safe products (lighting plastic garbage cans on fire with matches can cause fire!). Kids swallow seemingly innocuous erasers, rugs can be used as sliding bases and cause people to fall into glass tables. Things happen. It's not always some product manufacturer's fault.

But, many products are produced knowing they can be dangerous yet are kept on the market due to analysis that the cost of paying damages outweighs the potential profits.

That's a dirty little secret no one wants to admit.

These citronella fire pots keep bugs away, allow many suburban and urban families to enjoy the outdoor summer evenings, and generally make life "better."

Unfortunately, as designed, they can tip over and cause horrible injuries. The gel used in the pots described in the article can explode.

In short, they can be dangerous if used more or less as intended.

While I have worked for the past two decades plus protecting consumers and other ordinary people from the dangers created most often by laissez faire corporations, there is no way that every dangerous product should be banned or that every manufacturer should be held responsible. However, depending upon the knowledge of possible injury and other data, it does seem to point to the manufacturers of these products being well-aware of the potential for danger and injury.

Fortunately, the civil legal system, allows for compensation when inhernently dangerous products are placed in the public stream and for producing them negligently.

Hopefully, this will lead to safer products and more attention to potential dangers before someone else sustains these injuries.

Categories: For Attorneys