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Fourth of July fireworks are a popular tradition but unfortunately can result in serious injuries. For participants and spectators hurt in a fireworks accident, the question is who can be held responsible.
Connecticut places strict regulations on the use of fireworks:
When harm results from an illegal discharge of fireworks, the injured person can pursue a claim based on the doctrine of strict liability. A 2000 Connecticut Superior Court decision holds that fireworks are an “ultra-hazardous” activity, much like blasting or experimenting with volatile chemicals. A defendant who engages in an ultra-hazardous activity and causes an injury is strictly liable. This means that the injured person does not need to prove that the defendant was negligent in discharging the fireworks.
Fireworks injuries can arise in other scenarios. For example, what if you illegally discharged fireworks and injured yourself? In this case, you may attempt to pursue a products liability claim against the manufacturer or the seller of the fireworks if they were defective. Since most fireworks are made in China, suing the manufacturer can be difficult. That leaves you to sue the seller alleging that they sold a defective product. However, because fireworks are considered inherently dangerous, proving a defect requires specialized expert testimony.
Finally, what happens if you are injured at a lawful, sanctioned fireworks display in your city? This situation is not so clear. Connecticut courts are split on whether strict liability should be applied to lawful fireworks displays. Some decisions say strict liability applies, other say the injured person needs to prove ordinary negligence, which is harder to do. An experienced lawyer’s careful analysis of the facts and circumstances is needed to make the strongest case possible.
The team at Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. handles personal injury cases throughout Connecticut. If you or a family member were injured by fireworks, call us for an explanation of your legal rights. Reach us at 203-745-0942 or contact us online today. Our offices are conveniently located in Hamden and East Haven.
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Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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