An Oregon City propane explosion left an 80-year-old man severely burned, requiring emergency air evacuation to the Oregon Burn Center, according to a recent article in The Oregonian.
The explosion, which also killed 200 birds with which the man was working in a barn, was strong enough that it destroyed “a 10-by-12 wall and blew out a nearby garage door,” according to The Oregonian. It took place after the victim “had turned on the propane and gone to light a heater that was hanging from the ceiling in a barn.” The “active fire” was out by the time law enforcement officials arrived though the area was still filled with smoke, according to the paper.
The paper reports that “authorities are not investigating the accident,” believing that the explosion was simply the result of the propane having been left on longer than the victim intended. The published reports of the incident, however, raise questions of Oregon product liability that bear examination.
It goes without saying that dangerous articles, like propane cylinders, must always be handled in a cautious and appropriate manner. That, however, does not release manufacturers from either a moral or a legal obligation to ensure both that the items they sell are safe and that they function as expected. A valve that is properly shut down should stay shut down. Containers that are not supposed to leak should be leak-free.
When accidents leave people injured and property damaged victims seeking justice have every right to ask pointed questions of manufacturers and marketers. A Portland product liability attorney with special expertise in Oregon explosions can help victims sort through the complexities of the law to determine where responsibility properly lies in the wake of an explosion or other severe, injury-causing accident.