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$4.75 Million Fireworks Verdict

A Virginia jury awarded a mother and son $4.75 million for severe burns and traumatic brain injuries they sustained from a Fourth of July fireworks accident in 2007. During the finale of the Washington-area celebration, an errant shell from Schaefer Pyrotechnics shot directly at a nearby crowd. Eleven people were injured in the explosion.

Fireworks, flags and family picnics on Independence Day are a long-standing tradition. Unfortunately, other traditions go along with the celebrations…a trip to the Emergency Room for a firecracker going off in a child’s hand or setting your house on fire with a bottle rocket. Even though fireworks are banned in most areas, they remain a time-honored part of the holiday.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2014 Fireworks Annual Report cites that 7 of the  11 deaths from fireworks last year (4 of which were from house fires) happened around the Fourth of July.

Fourth of July Fireworks Emergency Room visit last year:

  • Children under 15 years old account for 35% of all fireworks injuries
  • Half of all ER fireworks-related injuries were under 20 years old
  • 1,400 serious injuries from sparklers
  • 1,400 serious injuries from firecrackers
  • 100 serious injuries from bottle rockets

Fireworks Safety Tips

If you plan to use fireworks this Independence Day, use these safety tips:

  • Read and follow the directions on the label
  • Shoot all fireworks out of doors, including sparklers
  • Keep fireworks away from young children
  • Do NOT aim, toss or point fireworks at ANYTHING
  • Do NOT alter your fireworks or combine them for a “bigger bang”
  • Light fireworks one at a time
  • Keep a safe distance from your audience and point fireworks away from them
  • Have a bucket of water, garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready for emergencies
  • Do NOT relight any firework that did not explode
  • Completely douse all spent fireworks with water before discarding

We Can Help

If you have been seriously injured by fireworks, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by calling the experienced lawyers at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates at (704) 859-2003 or Contact Us on the web.


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