A Lenexa woman knew the dangers posed by gel fuels long before a warning this week from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Last October, Pam Polson and her family sat on her sister’s patio catching up on each other’s lives.
Her brother-in-law, Steve Michnick, began to refill a Napa Firelite firepot with a gel fuel called NAPAfire. All Polson can remember are the flames landing on her.
“It was horrible,” she said. “I mean, I was flaming. One minute I was sitting doing nothing, and the next thing I know these flames shot out and landed on me and I was immediately engulfed in flames.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning on gel and other fuels used in firepots, tiki torches and other products. Spokesman Alex Filip said the agency had received multiple reports that are being investigated, but the focus of the investigation was on the fuel.
“Because it’s a jelly-like substance, it will get onto clothing or skin and when it catches fire, just splashing water or smothering it won’t always kill the flames,” Filip said. “You need a dry chemical extinguisher to put it out.”
Filip said the gel fuel has only been available on the market a couple of years, to his knowledge. He said it would take time for scientists to understand how to best deal with the product and to review its safety labels. Already, though, retailers are pulling the product.
Filip said the most important thing is for the public to be aware that the products are hazardous.
“It looks like the flame has gone out when it actually hasn’t,” Filip said. “When people pour the fuel on when the fire is not completely out, it’s like pouring fuel onto a fire.”
St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora was awarded $5.4 million by a federal judge in his lawsuit against a supplement maker, his attorneys announced Monday.
Vobora sued Anti-Steroid Program, LLC, a Florida supplement maker also known as S.W.A.T.S, after he was suspended by the NFL for four games in 2009 for using a contaminated product made by the company. U.S. District Court Judge Rodney W. Sippel found that the company intentionally misrepresented the supplement in violation of Missouri law.
The $5.4 million judgment for Vobora, which was awarded Friday, includes money for lost NFL compensation and marketing opportunities plus $2 million for damage done to his reputation.
“This monumental judgment cleared my family’s name,” Vobora said in a statement. “We stuck together through threats, ridicule, and unfair stigma. Finally vindicated, I’m relieved that I can refocus on football and help the St. Louis Rams get back to the playoffs when the lockout ends. I’m grateful the Rams organization believed in my character through this trying process.”
Vobora tested positive for methyltestosterone after using a spray made by the company. He studied the company’s website and even called an NFL hotline for players to ask about supplements before using the supplement.
Attorney R. Daniel Fleck said the judgment for Vobora is “believed to be the largest of its kind for any athlete who has been suspended from his or her sport because of a contaminated nutritional supplement.
“This case should be a warning to all supplement companies to improve their manufacturing processes and ensure their products are steroid-free,” he said in the statement.
The city of Kansas City got hit with a verdict of more than $1 million for a fatal accident that the victim’s relatives blamed in part on a poorly designed and maintained traffic signal.
Tina Jons had mistakenly entered the downtown intersection of 18th and Charlotte streets, believing she had a green light, and caused a crash resulting in the death of Stephen Sasnett. Another vehicle, driven by Ronald Brooks, collided with Jons’ car, sending her vehicle in the air. It landed on Sasnett’s vehicle.Jons, who actually ran a red light, later learned she had looked at green traffic lights in a nearby intersection to the west.
Sasnett’s survivors, including his wife and children, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jons and Brooks for negligence and also sued Kansas City, claiming the city contributed to the accident because its improper design and maintenance of the traffic signal created a dangerous public condition.
An 11-year-old girl died Friday after falling from a Ferris wheel while on a class trip to an amusement park in New Jersey, police said.
Abiah Jones fell at Morley Piers Mariner’s Landing Pier about 12:30 p.m., according to the Wildwood Police Department.
First responders gave her first aid and took her to Cape Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead about 1:15 p.m., according to police.
The girl was riding one of the park’s main attractions, “The Great Wheel.” At 156 feet, it’s one of the tallest wheels on the East Coast, according to Morley Piers spokeswoman Lindsey Young.
The cause of the girl’s fall was unknown and the Wildwood police and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office continue to investigate.
The Carnival Amusement Inspectors of New Jersey were also on the scene Friday afternoon conducting their own investigation, police said.
It is the first time someone has fallen from the ride since it opened in 1985 and the park has suffered no other guest fatality, Young said.
The ride was inspected by the state in March and passed, Young said.
All to often trucking accidents involve drivers who are operating an eighteen wheeler on inadequate rest or are carrying a load that exceeds capacity regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in the final stages of two related truck rules: to limit service to 10 consecutive hours and to require trucks to convert to electronic on-board recorders to keep tabs on the hours driven continuously. The Truck Safety Coalition is pushing for quick approval of the rules, while the trucking industry supports the on-board recorders but not changing the driving limits.
Joan Claybrook, a consumer activist, stated that ”every year about 4,000 people needlessly die on our highways and 100,000 more are injured in truck crashes.” “Families and truck drivers are being slaughtered on our highways because of the trucking industry’s relentless push for bigger, overweight trucks operated by drivers who are exhausted and pressured to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines.”