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Duffield, Lovejoy, Stemple & Boggs, Attorneys at Law

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Fireworks show goes terribly wrong, severely injures worker

Like many Americans last weekend, residents in Huntington, West Virginia congregated on July 4th to celebrate our country's independence. Friends, family, a nice barbecue and a fireworks show was likely a common combination for many, with the ultimate ending -- the grand finale of the fireworks show -- providing a warm feeling for happy onlookers.

By their very nature though, fireworks are dangerous and fickle. Sadly, not every fireworks show on July 4th goes off without a hitch. Usually this results in people suffering serious injuries.

One of these unfortunate workplace accidents occurred in Wisconsin, where a fireworks show was halted shortly after it began due to an unexpected explosion. A worker was near a lit firework when it suddenly exploded inside the firing tube, instead of blowing up high in the air. The intense force of the explosions broke his leg and left him with various injuries on the left side of his body, including his face.

There are a couple of things to highlight in this story, and the first is that the manufacturer of the faulty firework could be held liable for a defective product.

The other aspect here is that both the ground that hosted the fireworks show and the employer responsible for the injured worker will be under scrutiny for the explosion. Any violation of safety protocols could make them liable for the accident; and if the medical response failed to meet requirements, there could be further claims of negligence made by the injured worker. He could be eligible for further financial aid too, such as worker's compensation.

Source: Star Tribune, "Fireworks employee injured after unexpected explosion on ground in Milwaukee suburb," July 5, 2013

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