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A Barbecue Mishap May Have More Than One Cause

Everybody loves a good barbecue. The preparation of the grill, the sizzling of the meat, the unique, distinctive flavors enjoyed at the meal afterwards are all part of the experience. But while it’s easy to regard a grill as just another fixture of a yard that’s used from time to time for a bit of outdoor cooking, it’s also a complex piece of hardware that can be prone to breakdown. In some cases, that breakdown can be dangerous, as Timothy Geisel found out.

A Series Of Mistakes


Timothy Geisel, of Milford, Pennsylvania, purchased a grill in 2014. It was a Blue Rhino grill that he purchased at Walmart, and, as with most grills, it operated using a cylinder of liquid propane that would eventually run out, requiring either a refill to the tank, or a replacement. Timothy used his grill without incident for a couple of years, but in 2016, he went to Four Seasons Rentals & Repairs to in order to get a refill on the cylinder, as well as a second cylinder he had from another grill, which was manufactured by Modern Gas Sales.

As Timothy was making dinner with the grill, a fire broke out. The fire was due to liquid propane leaking out of the cylinder and burning the grill itself. Timothy attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher when the cylinder and the grill exploded, inflicting him with serious burn injuries.

Multiple Lawsuits


Because of this incident, Timothy Geisel put in motion a lawsuit targeting three different parties. He is suing Blue Rhino, the manufacturers of the grill, he is suing Four Seasons Rental & Repairs, as well as the owner, Thomas Bosch, whose employees filled his cylinder, and he is suing Modern Gas Sales, that manufactured the cylinder.

Why is he targeting three separate parties? His reason, he claims, is because all three played a negligent role in grill and gas safety. He used the second cylinder in the grill, but was not aware that the cylinder was not equipped with an overfill protection device, or OPD. As the name implies, an OPD ensures a liquid propane cylinder is not filled beyond capacity with fuel.

Geisel contends that Blue Rhino did not document the dangers of using a cylinder without an OPD. He blames Modern Gas Sales for manufacturing a cylinder that did not come equipped with an OPD, and lastly, he is suing Thomas Bosch and Four Seasons Rentals & Repairs for overfilling the cylinder and causing the incident.

Collectively, he is suing for negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty. He suffered second and third degree burns to both upper and lower portions of his body, as well as permanent scarring even after recovery, among other injuries.

Take Care With Your Grilling


While a grill is obviously viewed as another tool for recreation and good food, like any piece of equipment, some care should be taken to use it responsibly. If you are negligent in your own responsibilities for safe grill operation, you or other people in the area could be injured by a mishap, leaving you open to a lawsuit. If the fault lies with the product itself, then an accident attorney can help you take proper legal action against the people truly responsible for your accident and injury..