July 22, 2015 — A woman who was badly burned by an exploding table torch has filed a lawsuit against Big Lots in federal court in New Jersey.
The woman, Mari Linn Lacovara, told NBC News10 that she was trying to blow out the citronella torch when it suddenly exploded. She was left with disfiguring burns on her face, neck, and right hand. The incident occurred in May 2013.
In August 2013, Big Lots recalled about 30,000 tabletop torches due to fire and burn hazards, warning that they can emit burning lamp oil onto consumers and property.
At the time, the company had 20 reports of liquid fuel exploding from the torches with high flames, including two serious injuries with second- and third-degree burns and seven minor burns. According to the recall:
One of the serious burn injuries involved burns to the legs and abdomen and a second victim received burns all over the body while attempting to extinguish the flames. All of the incidents involved property damage.”
Last year, KXAN News reported that a lawsuit was filed in Texas on behalf of a man who died after a tabletop torch from Big Lots exploded. According the lawsuit, third-degree burns covered 65% of his body and he died in August 2013.
In North Carolina, WCNC News reported that 46 year-old Bill Trull suffered extreme burns and missed a month of work after he was burned by an exploding table torch.
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