13-year-old Rane Newby is awarded over $6 million in gas container explosion lawsuit against Blitz and Walmart.
A North Texas teenager was awarded more than $6 million in a personal injury lawsuit after he was severely burned when a fuel container he was holding exploded in his hand. The teen, Rane Newby, was 13-years old when the incident occurred right before Thanksgiving of 2011. The lawsuit was only one of hundreds of similar claims that were filed throughout the United States.
The teen was using a diesel can during a controlled burn on the property of his grandfather when it exploded in his hand. When the container exploded, it caused him to suffer burns over 90 percent of his body. According to Newby, he and his grandfather had a brush fire going, and it went out. He said he kicked over a log and was going to set fire to it when the diesel can exploded.
The victim’s attorney, Charles Noteboom, filed lawsuits against Blitz, the maker of the five gallon plastic fuel container, as well as Walmart, the store where it was purchased. The analogy behind suing the retailer was that it was aware the container was defective and dangerous. The teen remained in Parkland Hospital’s burn unit for eight months and has been faced with a total of 13 surgeries.
Blitz has now filed bankruptcy and is out of business. A bankruptcy judge has ordered both the manufacturer and the retailer to set aside a total of $131 million in order to settle other unresolved lawsuits throughout the United States. The settlement is “not intended as an acknowledgement of any safety defects.“
In spite of the predictions of the doctors, Newby is now walking and just finished his sophomore year in high school!