Back in 2008, a woman from Vermont went with her family and some of their friends to Ticonderoga, New York, in order to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. They had been camping prior to the show. According to reports, 1,075 fireworks were used during the show, but the display did not go as planned.
The problem occurred when one of the fireworks that had been dropped into a mortar tube exploded without ever leaving the tube. This did not injure the woman, but it did knock one of the other tubes out of position so that it was aimed at the crowd. When the mortar from the tube fired, it slammed into a cooler that someone had brought and blew up.
The woman moved quickly to try to help her daughter and her friend in an attempt to protect them. However, her hand ended up slipping on the grass. Something in her hand popped, and she felt the injury right away. It was later determined that she had a torn collateral ligament.
The woman then filed lawsuits for both product liability and negligence. This was tossed out at first, but the Third Department New York Appellate Division, which is based in Albany, recently ruled that she could keep pursuing the negligence claim if she so desired. This opens the door for her to get compensation for her surgery.
This case shows that those who are injured may have a right to a premises liability lawsuit, even if they are in an outdoor, public area, depending on whether or not it can be shown that negligence was the reason for an injury in that area.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Woman Can Pursue Fireworks Injury Claim” Jeff D. Gorman, May. 28, 2014