The lawsuit was filed by Johnny L. Bruins, a man from Georgia who was injured last year while celebrating Independence Day with friends and family.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., he lit a YoYo Sparkler intending to give it to a child. According to the lawsuit:
“As soon as he lit the sparkler, rather than it merely emitting sparks, it exploded in his hand, catching fire and engulfing Mr. Bruins’ left hand in fire, causing severe and painful burns.”
He was taken to the emergency room at Washington County Regional Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns to his left hand. He underwent painful wound debridement and skin grafting procedures, and now has permanent scarring.
Just five days after the incident, Jake’s Fireworks recalled approximately 651,000 YoYo Sparklers because they burn too fast and with a larger flame than normal.
Jake’s Fireworks received 12 reports of the sparklers burning down the stick and causing severe burns to victims’ hands.
One victim in Idaho received 2nd-degree burns when the sparkler exploded. He shared a picture of his injury and told Local News 8:
“When you light them, the stem is supposed to burn from the top to the bottom and back up like a yo-yo. Well, when I lit them, I think all three layers burned all at once and actually it shot out of my hand like a bottle rocket.”
The government estimates that sparklers cause about 19% of all fireworks injuries. They can reach temperatures up to 3000°F and are extremely dangerous when they explode.
The lawsuit was filed on September 20, 2016 in the District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) — In Re: Johnny Bruins v. Jake’s Fireworks, Inc — Case No. 1:2016-cv-03519.
The plaintiff is represented by Cale Conley and William K. Owens, Jr., of Conley Griggs Partin LLP; and Bruce R. Millar, Esq. of Millar & Mixon, LLC.