Wal-Mart sued after teenager suffers burns from gas can explosion

MARSHALL - The mother of a 13-year-old boy has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, claiming that the store is responsible for the severe burns the teenager suffered when a plastic fuel container exploded. 

Carrie Larkin, individually and as next friend of a minor, filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Wal-Mart Stores East LP, Wal-Mart Stores East Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC on Aug. 6 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The incident occurred on Nov. 23, 2012, in Grayson County, when the 13 year old suffered severe burns on the majority of his body when a plastic fuel container made by Blitz USA and purchased from the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Denison, unexpectedly exploded.

The Blitz fuel container did not have a flame arrester to prevent flashback explosions, lacked adequate instructions and warnings, according to the lawsuit.

“There were safer alternative designs, including designs utilizing flame arresters and designs utilizing spouts that users would not have to grasp during use, available at the time the product was placed into the stream of commerce,” the lawsuit states.

The defendant is accused of product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violations of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of bystander damages, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, psychological injuries,  permanent disfigurement, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, impairment of his ability to enjoy life activities, loss of familial consortium, attorney’s fees, exemplary damages, court costs and interest.

Larkin is represented by Charles M. Noteboom and J. Mark Sudderth of Noteboom The Law Firm in Hurst; Melissa Richards Smith of Gillam & Smith LLP in Marshall; and attorney Paul Crouch of Flower Mound .

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:13-cv-00574

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