The manufacturer of a firepot and pourable fuel gel, Napa Home & Garden Inc., has asked Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers to stop selling its products in New York and nationwide. This comes after several accidents in New York where the firepots and gel caused severe burns and injuries to users.
According to The New York Times, two New Yorkers were recently injured when the firepots exploded like a "napalm bomb." In one case, a 14-year old was set on fire as the liquid fuel gel he was pouring exploded while trying to light a firepot. In another case, a 24-year old Manhattan man suffered second- and third- degree burns as the fuel exploded while he was trying to refill a firepot.
In both cases, the fuel gel was reported to have stuck to the victims' skin and the flames could not be put out despite frantic attempts.
In telling Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers to discontinue selling its products, Napa Home & Garden said that it was issuing a "precautionary hold" so that the company could "reaffirm the safety of our products" reports the Times. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission also announced that it opened an investigation though no formal action has been taken.
Meanwhile, the Times reports that similar accidents involving Napa Home & Garden's firepots and fuel gels have surfaced nationwide.
With these accidents, Napa Home & Garden is now exposed to a potentially massive product liability lawsuit. As the manufacturer of the product, Napa Home & Garden has a duty to ensure that its products are safe for use. If it is revealed that these accidents are caused by a defect in the design of the firepots or fuel gels, and not by consumer misuse, Napa Home & Garden may have to pay out millions.