Pennsylvania Mother Sues over Son’s Fatal Fire at Gas Pump

August 5, 2010

  • August 5, 2010 at 7:31 am
    theinsexpert says:
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    Geez- suing Toyota AND BP? ALl that’s missing is Osama. And maybe those people who make snack bags that state, “Open Here” and don’t.

    The issue with cell phones etc wasn’t fires. It was intereference with the devices that bill your credit card. So dial away and maybe win a free tank of gas!

  • August 5, 2010 at 11:15 am
    djones says:
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    Why not just hold the nozzle until the tank is filled? Or, just don’t get back in the car until it’s done? Good grief.

    Convenient he’s was filling a Toyota at a BP gas station. What are those odds?

  • August 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    smartypants says:
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    We saw this on TV when it first happened and we came away thinking that this is just a niusance lawsuit. I feel sorry for the family’s loss but they aren’t asking for a lot of money, $50,000. they probably could use it if you knew the family circumstances. this kids was getting gas when the station was closed; how he knew the pump was on, I don’t know. But the attorney’s admonistion that everyone should be made aware of the static potential rings untrue. It is posted at all gas pumps in Pennsylvania and is well documented. Me thinks this is just a set up for a quick cash settlement. It is a tragedy that it happened and these poor people could really use the bucks and the fact that he appears to be the only member with a job makes it even more tragic. But they may find themselves with less than that after the attorney gets his piece of the pie, and that would be another tragedy….whatever happened to doing the right thing, pro bono? There the last tragedy…

  • August 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    Doug says:
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    Most gas stations post warnings about cell phones. For you safety, do not use or even hold your cell phone while pumping gas. This would apply to ANY electronic device, i.e. iPods, MP3.

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:08 am
    Wayne says:
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    With my deepest sympathy to the family and with all due respect to Doug, a cell phone cannot trigger a static electricity explosion at a gas pump. Neither can an IPod or other hand-held entertainment device.

    The charge needs to emanate at an area close to the nozzle to have a vapor concentration within the range that the vapor can ignite.

    This means that the source of the static discharge was most likely the operator and the charge was probably picked up by returning to the interior of the vehicle after the pumping operation had begun since any initial charge would have been grounded upon touching the pump handle at the start of the process.

    Granted, this is just my educated guess based on my 30 years in the fire service but I think the video tape will resolve this.

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:18 am
    mike says:
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    They want more than $50,000. The courts in PA make you state if you want over or under $50,000 in every case which determines if it goes to arbitration 1st or to a judge level.
    **
    I feel for the family and have seen the signs about cell phones. Still stinks to think it could cause you to burn to death

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:42 am
    Flag Day says:
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    In my fuel center training at a previous job, we were taught that the likelyhood of a cell phone, MP3, ect causing a static charge that could start a fire was about the same as the Lions winning the superbowl. If you think about it, when was the last time you touched your cell phone and received a shock? Probably never.

    However, when was the last time you went to close your car door and got shocked? That’s probably happened to all of us 100 times or more. If you get back in your car (all the way, feet off the ground), back out of your car and touch the running pump before touching ANYTHING else, then you are at the highest risk of starting a fuel related fire.

    That’s what the district manager taught us anyway. Go Lions!

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:46 am
    cassandra says:
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    Tell me more…so if I don’t close my car door when I get out to pump gas am I OK?

    Please tell us more.

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:51 am
    Joe Blow says:
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    A little too convenient for my taste.

  • August 5, 2010 at 2:19 am
    Flag Day says:
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    The point was that if you re-entered your car, got out and touched the car door that the static transfer would be between you and the door – not you and the fuel nozzle. You’re probably familiar with the concept of static electricity. Sorry if I confused anyone.

  • August 5, 2010 at 4:05 am
    Dave says:
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    Flag Day is correct; static electricity is most often the culprit. There has never been a confirmed instance of a cell phone igniting gasoline or vapors at a gas station.

  • August 5, 2010 at 4:30 am
    TV Junkie says:
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    Don’t any of you watch Myth Busters?? Cell phone myth: Busted.
    Static electricity (from getting back into the car (fabric seats): Myth CONFIRMED.
    PS I pray for tort reform in this country so we can get away from these rediculous law suites. I feel for the family, but this was not anyones’ fault.

  • August 5, 2010 at 5:06 am
    cassandra says:
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    According to this article, she is shot gunning the world in this suit. That’s the other tradedy.

  • August 6, 2010 at 7:21 am
    doodah says:
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    No question, tragic accidents occur in a flash (no pun intended)…but everyday I see people acting stupidly, ignoring the cell phone warnings at the gas pump, smoking at the pumps, texting at 70 mph…and yet some lawyer wants to turn accidents, even those caused by people’s ignorance, into his own children’s financial legacy. When did the American Way become “Something for nothing”? Make these freakin’ lawyers go off to war or actually earn a living before they start living off the flesh and blood of everyone else.

  • August 6, 2010 at 8:31 am
    IKA SAN says:
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    I drove a Mazda MX-3 for 10 years and over 300,000 miles. On each door (on the inside of the car) was a little jelly bean shaped blob that had “touch” written on it. This little gadget was designed to discharge any static electricity from your body before you exited the car. I got into the habit of using it and never had a static shock in the 10 years I owned the car.

  • August 6, 2010 at 9:32 am
    Mark says:
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    Im sorry, but if my kid ever gets lit on fire at a routine gas fill up – I would sue someone too…..

    This isnt a third world country, its not too much to ask to be able to fill your car with gas without it exploding.

  • August 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    Ex PA Res says:
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    You spend one winter in PA and you know why ppl get back in the car – fo sho. It’s coldies out there!!!



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