Personal Injury and the Overzealous Scoutmaster

A Brooklyn man was serving as the Scoutmaster of his son’s Boy Scout troop when he took the boys who made up that troop on a campout. Things were progressing well during this camp out when one morning during the trip he decided to take charge of the cooking of breakfast. Being hungry, he decided against building a fire for cooking the meal and opted instead to cook over a gas stove that he had brought along for the trip.

Boom!

Things were progressing nicely in the preparation of the troop’s meal when the canister holding the stove’s fuel exploded, burning the Scoutmaster, but not, thankfully, any of his charges. The Scoutmaster suffered second-degree burns on his upper body, went to a local clinic and was released. Unfortunately, due to the seriousness of the burns he suffered, the Scoutmaster was unable to work for several days, losing pay that he would have otherwise received.

During a discussion of how the accident happened, a friend of the Scoutmaster’s recommended that he speak with a personal injury attorney in an effort to determine whether he might have a case against the maker of the cylinder. And after a consultation with that personal injury attorney, the accident was investigated and the result was that the fuel cylinder was defective, and as a result, he would probably stand to receive an award for his damages and lost wages.

Personal Injury Attorney on the Job

After the maker of the fuel cylinder was contacted regarding the possible pending action, the firm initially declined to offer a settlement since it was their belief that although the product was damaged, that was due to its mishandling by the Scoutmaster and his charges. Not to be deterred, the attorney ordered tests done on the cylinder which conclusively proved that not only was the metal that made up the cylinder was defective, but the seam of the cylinder was also not up to standards of the company or industry regulations.

Case Presentation

Although the maker of the fuel cylinder initially denied any liability in the case, the Scoutmaster’s attorney assembled a settlement package for the company, which included the metallurgy report completed by the independent tester, which laid the blame for the product failure on the maker. After the company received the settlement package their initial reaction was to again to deny the claim, along with issuing their own product report that faulted the testing methodology of the laboratory. It wasn’t long after this, however, that the Scoutmaster’s attorney took the test results to not only a second but also a third testing laboratory for an independent evaluation of the results, which was returned in the favor of the Scoutmaster’s case. After the results were returned from the second and third laboratory, the maker’s insurance company urged the maker to settle the case. The good news in all of this is that not only was the case settled in the Scoutmaster’s favor, but there was an industry wide change in the methods of assembly for all of the fuel canisters made by that firm as well as others in the same business.