Burnt-Out Cases

Published September 3, 2012

The maker of those ubiquitous red plastic gasoline cans has been driven out of business by personal injury trial lawyers and their ubiquitous lawsuits.

Blitz USA of Miami, Oklahoma was the number one producer of the gas cans, with about 75 percent of the market, until it became a target for lawsuits in which plaintiffs did something dumb, like pouring gasoline from the can on live coals to rekindle a fire. Blitz’s insurer made the mistake of paying several multimillion-dollar verdicts, which made the company a live target. The American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers’ organization, even held a meeting of the “gas cans litigation group” at its annual conference last month.

In June, Blitz filed for bankruptcy and will be closing its doors and laying off all 117 employees.

Source: “The Tort Bar Burns On; A case study in modern robbery: Targeting the red plastic gas can,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2012