If I bought a gift for a friend which resulted in an accident that burned another friend, am I liable?

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2010

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If I bought a gift for a friend which resulted in an accident that burned another friend, am I liable?

It was an outdoor lamp that burned citronella. I bought it at a very nice gift shop. I was not there when the accident happened. I suppose the lamp was reloaded improperly. Alcohol was involved. 2nd degree burns, 16 % of her body.

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Personal Injury, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Normally, a person who gifts something is NOT responsible for the use of it, or any injuries it causes, unless that person (the gift giver) was him- or herself somehow negligent. For example, if  you loaded or fuled the lamp for your friend and did so improperly, in that circumstance, it's possible you might face some liability. So if you contributed to the accident and injury by more than just giving the lamp, then liability is a possibility.

However, the above aside, more likely targets for liability include the lamp manufactuer (if was designed or manufactured badly, or if the instructions or safety directions were inadequate or flawed) and the store or seller (if they assembled or loaded it improperly).

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