Happy Independence Day! Not to disappoint our regular bloggers on this site, I offer a fireworks tort case to celebrate our national birthday. The case of Shermans of Nebraska shows why holidays are truly days for celebration for personal injury attorneys.
The Court explains the facts as follows:
On July 3, 2002, the Shermans were watching their grandson Nate Kapustka set off fireworks in Mrs. Sherman’s daughter’s back yard. Nate ignited a “Saturn Missile” that errantly struck and injured Mrs. Sherman’s eye. Nate’s father, Stanley Kapustka, had purchased the Saturn Missile from Hale Fireworks, Inc., in Nixa, Missouri, prior to the accident. Winco is allegedly the fireworks distributor that sold the Saturn Missile to Hale Fireworks.
On July 2, 2004, the Shermans filed this suit in the District of Nebraska, asserting nine causes of action against several businesses in the fireworks industry allegedly responsible for the manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of the Saturn Missile. The Shermans’ nine claims included a Nebraska-law
negligent-failure-to-warn claim, among others.
The Shermans lost before a jury which ruled for Winco on all claims. The Eighth Circuit agreed and only reversed on an attorneys fee issue.
I am now going to go and buy some fireworks for tonight (which I only set off after all of the children have signed waiver forms and mandatory arbitration agreements).
Happy Fourth, Everyone.
For a copy of the decision, click here.
The case was highlight on the appellate site, How Appealing, linked on the blog roll.