Although American Educational Products claims not to do business in Texas, a Beaumont judge recently ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case, since the company sells to Texans online.
As previously reported, Kyle, Larry and Deborah McCarver filed suit against Ginsberg Scientific, American Educational Products, Nite Lights, Disco Tech, Music Torch and Pyro Direct on March 8, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court.
The suit alleges a fuse burst into flames, injuring Kyle McCarver and caused fire damage to the plaintiffs’ residence.
Court records show that on Sept. 6 AEP and Ginsberg filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that they do not conduct business in Texas.
Ginsberg is not a company but a branch of AEP that sells its products, the motion states.
On Jan. 18 Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, denied the motion to dismiss, ruling that the company sells online to Texas residents, court papers say.
The original petition alleges that Kyle, age 19 at the time of the incident, had ordered a fuse and magnesium ribbon from a website operated by Disco Tech.
On Feb. 28, 2010, Kyle received the fuse and after removing it from the shipping box it ignited in his left hand and set him on fire. He sustained burns to 40 percent of his body, the suit states.
The bedroom then caught on fire and caused damage to the plaintiffs’ property, the suit states.
Ginsberg Scientific and American Educational supplied the magnesium ribbon. The fuse was marketed and distributed by Nite Light and Pyro Direct, the suit states.
Magnesium is a flammable metal used in fire works and combustion experiments. Magnesium ribbon burns with a bright light. In the past magnesium flame have been used as a photography flash light. Magnesium is also used in fireworks. Magnesium ribbon is specifically sold for science experiments and observations.
The defendants are accused of negligently failing to correct and eliminated the risks associated with the magnesium ribbon and fuse and warn of the dangers.
The plaintiffs accuse the defendants of acting with malic and are suing for punitive and exemplary damages.
They are represented by the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams in Beaumont.
Houston attorney Robert Ramey of the Ramey, Chandler, Quinn & Zito represents AEP and Ginsberg.
Case No. D192-148