Many canned tire inflators sold in the US still have butane & propane as the propellant to inflate the tire.These tire sealants or tire inflators with butane or propane can explode and cause serious injury, blindness, and even death to the tire worker and others. The customer who puts these flammable gases into their tire by using a canned tire sealant or tire inflator may also have additional risks or danger in putting butane in their tire and traveling a highway speeds with a flammable gas inside their tire.Further, many of these tire inflators state that it will permanently fix a flat. cording to tire experts, these tire inflators will not safely seal a hole or defect and in fact can cause damage to the tire and rim.
While trying to fix a flat, many tire workers and others can be blinded, maimed, or even decapitated when the tire explodes. Most of these tires had been previously filled with a can of tire sealant to fix a leak in the tire. The propellant in the tire sealant often times contains the butane & propane. When an ignition source is present a massive explosion is possible.
Many brands of tire sealant today STILL contain butane and propane as the propellant, which is flammable and highly explosive. Other companies either due to safety concerns or competitive reasons have switched from an explosive propellant to a non-explosive one. The problem is obvious, if a spark comes into contact within the contents of the tire, then an explosion is possible and serious injuries and deaths are likely.
One of the first brands of inflators to fix a flat tire, was named FIX A FLAT, made by Nationwide Industries. For many years, Fix A Flat was the dominant leader in this industry, but due to the flammable ingredients and tire explosions, many were severely injured and maimed by the Fix A Flat product. Fix A Flat though had competition, namely from Radiator Specialty company, that produced Puncture Seal, Johnsen’s, Golden Eagle, S.T.P., Chief, C.S.A. Ltd, and others. After many lawsuits, Fix a Flat finally changed their ingredients and stopped using the explosive mixture. Fix a Flat continues to this day to only sell the non-flammable cans of Fix A Flat. Through the efforts and litigation of products liability actions, attorney, David P. Willis, has helped force or convince several other different companies to stop the sell and distribution of tire inflators that contain butane and propane.
The first such case involved a young man, Patrick Cherry of Houston,Texas, who was working at a Chevron gas station when the tire he was trying to fix exploded. The explosion threw him back some 15-20 feet away, causing massive bodily injuries. Cherry was Life-Flighted from the gas station and recovered after months of hospitalization and therapy. The ignition source that ignited the flammable gas mixture was the tire reamer causing a spark when it came into contact with a steel belt in the tire. The Willis Law Firm hired engineering and testing labs to duplicate the explosive and deadly force from tire explosion. After months of discovery, the defendants settled this case. The main defendant ceased to ever manufacture this type of product again.
The next case involved a retired mechanic in San Antonio, Texas helping a neighbor on a Sunday morning to try and fix a small pin hole leak in the rim of a mobile home tire. The neighbor had used a can of Puncture Seal made by Radiator Specialty Company in the tire in hopes that the slow leak would stop. Mr. Gaconnet inspected the tire and found the pin hole leak. After deflating the tire, he attempted to weld the pin hole closed, when suddenly the tire and rim exploded, blinding him in both eyes and maiming his hand and causing a massive loss of hearing. A spark from the weld ignited the flammable mixture. The tire did not explode due to an over heating of the contents of the air in the tire as was argued by the defendants. At the conclusion of the case, it was announced that Radiator Specialty Company was changing their formula, and was not producing anymore Puncture Seal with butane / propane as the propellant for the tire sealant.
Another similar case involved a woman from California that had a can of Johnsen’s Tire Sealant stored underneath the seat of her pickup truck. Without her knowledge the can leaked out the butane from a faulty seal on the can and the butane puddled on the floorboard of her can. When she later lit a cigarette the entire car burst into flames. She suffered numerous 2nd and 3rd degree burns from the flash fire. Her case was settled by Mr. Willis within months after suit was filed for a confidential amount.
Other cases around the nation include, blindness, brain damage, severe lacerations and even a decapitation. These products with a flammable gas should have never produced and sold to the public. Never should a flammable / explosive gas be introduced into a closed container (tire), where it can stay for days, weeks, months or even years before it has the chance to maim, blind or kill. Most companies have changed their formulas, but a few still are subjecting this tire bomb to others. For these companies, punitive or exemplary damages are sought and many time awarded by outraged juries.
We are proud of the work we have done at the Willis Law Firm to help clean up an industry. Mr. Willis is routinely sought as associate or lead counsel by other attorneys on these cases to help in discovery issues in these products liability cases. Mr. Willis has been interviewed numerous times by many of the leading tire industry magazines and publications and has appeared on many NBC stations in the United States concerning the dangers of these tire sealants and helped bring this danger public.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, maimed, blinded or even killed as a result on one of these tire sealants or any other flammable or explosive products and you would like to know what can be done to protect your legal rights, then call a Trial Lawyer who understand aerosol / butane explosions, for a Free Confidential Consultation call 1-800-883-9858.