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Was Your Grilling Accident Caused by a Defective Product?

Summer brings out the grilling enthusiast in many Florida residents. However, whether you use a charcoal grill or a propane gas one, there are a number of potential dangers that require that care be taken. While some grilling accidents are caused by people being careless, others can be traced to a problem in the design or manufacturing of the product as well as with the warnings and instructions provided.

Not only the grill itself, but sometimes grilling tools can be dangerous. Wire grill brushes have been known to come off and fall into the grate, where they end up in food. When swallowed, they can cause potentially fatal injuries to a person's digestive tract. They can pierce the intestines, liver and other parts of the body. Some must be removed and the damage repaired surgically.

The gas used to light grills can explode, causing serious injuries as well as fires. Some of our readers may remember when ESPN anchor Hannah Storm suffered serious burns from her head down to her chest -- disfiguring injuries that she feared would end her career in front of the camera. She also suffered singed corneas. Storm said that she had turned the propane gas grill off and then back on again when the propane caused a "flash flame, a fire ball like you'd see in a movie." The gas used to light charcoal grills can also cause explosions and fires.

While National Propane Gas Association provides recommendations to help ensure that your next barbecue doesn't end tragically:

  • Check the fuel line for gas leaks before you light the grill. You can do this by putting a little soapy water on the line. If bubbles form, that means there's a leak.
  • Store your propane tanks somewhere cool and in an upright position. Don't leave them out in the sun.
  • Never grill indoors. If there's an accident, the resulting fire and smoke injuries can be worse than if you're outdoors where you can get farther away.
  • Keep flammable items (anything, including clothing, with grease oil or gas on it) away from the grill.

If you or a loved one is injured in a grilling accident, don't assume that it was user error. It's important to find out whether everything was working properly and that proper instructions and safety tips were provided. It's worth seeking legal guidance to help determine your options.

Source: FindLaw, "Grilling Out Can Lead to Burns, Lawsuits," Brett Snider, Esq., accessed July 08, 2015

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