The New York Personal Injury Blog

Man Catches Fire, Blames Banana Boat Sunscreen

Brett Sigworth, of Stow, Massachusetts, is flaming mad right now, after he used Banana Boat aerosol sunscreen and accidentally lit himself on fire, reports CBS Boston.

According to Sigworth, he sprayed the sunscreen on, waited a couple of minutes, and then went to his grill to adjust the charcoal. All of a sudden, he found himself engulfed in flames.

He ended up with second-degree burns on his chest, back, neck, and ears.

His complaint is with the warning label. It warns that the product is flammable and not to use it near heat or flame. So, what's his beef?

Sigworth feels that the warning should alert consumers that the product remains flammable for some time once applied to the skin. If it had been labeled as such, he wouldn't have used it at all.

So, what do you think? Does he have a case?

Dangerous products are required to have a warning label. And before you make the "common sense" argument, note that many irons have labels warning you not to iron the clothes on your body. Some chainsaws tell you not to stick your finger in the blade area.

Warning labels are often directed at the lowest common denominator of society, not at those with "common sense." Products are required to warn you of foreseeable dangerous uses, and sometimes, the labels come across as silly.

As for the sunscreen, whether or not the "flammable" warning was sufficient is debatable.

Banana Boat will certainly argue that it is unreasonable to expect them to predict every possible way in which someone could manage to harm themselves and that the existing label is sufficient.

Related Resources: