Injured by defective firework

UPDATED: Jul 5, 2009

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Injured by defective firework

I was injured by a firework that exploded almost instantly when I lit the fuse. I sustained a cut/abrasion to my chin and right leg, ringing in my ears and possible decrease in hearing secondary to this incident. Is the manufacturer and store that sold the firework liable?

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Personal Injury, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Manufacturer definitely (assuming you prove that you used it correctly, followed all instructions, etc.).

Store possibly--if there has been a history of problems with this model of firework or manufacturer, then yes, if there's no reason why they would have known of problems or risks, you can still try suing them, but they'll have a good defense. (They can't be "negligent" if there was no reason to know there were risks or defects.)

The main problem will be with proof--how do you prove that the firework exploded instantly and was not mishandled, when the evidence destroys itself? That doesn't mean not to try, but bear in mind that's the main problem. As a practical matter, if what you're asking for is modest, there's a good chance you'll be paid rather than the manufacturer and/or store spending lots of time, effort, and money defending a case; if you're asking for the world, they (and their insurers) are more likely to fight you tooth and nail.

You should probably get a consultation with a good local personal injury attorney with products liability experience, especially if you can get a free or reduced rate initial consultation, explain all the facts of your case, and see what the attorney thinks.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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