Happy Fourth of July!!!

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.

5 thoughts on “Happy Fourth of July!!!”

  1. I’ll restart celebrating the Fourth of July after 1/20/09 when this evil, inept, thoroughly corrupt and ethically bankrupt regime has been flushed down the toilet of history where they belong. I have refused to celebrate the date since the shame and the sham of the invasion of Iraq was perpetrated.

    January 21, 2009 will mark a new beginning and a new Independence Day for America regardless of who is elected President. Until then, we are all suffering under the delusions of a new completely mad King (he seems to think) George.


    July 4, 2008
    New York Times Editorial

    New and Not Improved

    Senator Barack Obama stirred his legions of supporters, and raised our hopes, promising to change the old order of things. He spoke with passion about breaking out of the partisan mold of bickering and catering to special pleaders, promised to end President Bush’s abuses of power and subverting of the Constitution and disowned the big-money power brokers who have corrupted Washington politics.

    Now there seems to be a new Barack Obama. First, he broke his promise to try to keep both major parties within public-financing limits for the general election. His team explained that, saying he had a grass-roots-based model and that while he was forgoing public money, he also was eschewing gold-plated fund-raisers. These days he’s on a high-roller hunt.

    Even his own chief money collector, Penny Pritzker, suggests that the magic of $20 donations from the Web was less a matter of principle than of scheduling. “We have not been able to have much of the senator’s time during the primaries, so we have had to rely more on the Internet,” she explained as she and her team busily scheduled more than a dozen big-ticket events over the next few weeks at which the target price for quality time with the candidate is more than $30,000 per person.

    The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to filibuster an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for telecommunications companies that amounts to a sanctioned cover-up of Mr. Bush’s unlawful eavesdropping after 9/11.

    Now, he supports the immunity clause as part of what he calls a compromise but actually is a classic, cynical Washington deal that erodes the power of the special court, virtually eliminates “vigorous oversight” and allows more warrantless eavesdropping than ever.

    The Barack Obama of the primary season used to brag that he would stand before interest groups and tell them tough truths. The new Mr. Obama tells evangelical Christians that he wants to expand President Bush’s policy of funneling public money for social spending to religious-based organizations — a policy that violates the separation of church and state and turns a government function into a charitable donation.

    On top of these perplexing shifts in position, we find ourselves disagreeing powerfully with Mr. Obama on two other issues: the death penalty and gun control.

    Mr. Obama endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the District of Columbia’s gun-control law. We knew he ascribed to the anti-gun-control groups’ misreading of the Constitution as implying an individual right to bear arms. But it was distressing to see him declare that the court provided a guide to “reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe.”

    We were equally distressed by Mr. Obama’s criticism of the Supreme Court’s barring the death penalty for crimes that do not involve murder.

    Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.

    There now appears to be few vital differences between Mr. Obama and Senator John McCain on issues like the war in Iraq, taxes, health care and Supreme Court nominations. We don’t want any “redefining” on these big questions. This country needs change it can believe in.


Comments are closed.