Anticipating the arrival of a baby is an exciting time. While some parents-to-be still opt to be surprised at the sex of the baby, others have jumped on the bandwagon of gender reveal parties. These gatherings to announce and celebrate that you’re expecting a boy or girl have grown in popularity to the point where they have become a competition to outdo other gender reveals on YouTube and Instagram.
In the excitement to create a unique style of announcement that nobody else has done before, injuries and widespread damage have occurred. Sometimes it’s due to the carelessness of the couple, but in other instances it has been a case of product liability.
Examples of injuries and harm caused by gender reveal parties
- In early February 2021, a Michigan man died when a small cannon exploded, sending shrapnel into his body at a baby shower. It was unknown why the cannon malfunctioned, causing the 26-year-old’s wrongful death. It could have been anything from a defect in the weapon itself, an issue with the explosive, or a failure to warn about proper use of the device.
- In September 2020, a San Bernardino couple held their gender reveal at El Dorado Ranch Park with the help of a pyrotechnic device, which started a wildfire that ultimately burned more than 22,000 acres over a two-month period. Even worse was the 2017 Arizona Sawmill wildfire that began when an exploding target at a gender reveal ignited the surrounding brush. At least 47,000 acres later, the baby’s father wound up paying $8 million in restitution. Had these products come with warnings about proper location use and risk of causing enormous life-threatening fires, they may not have occurred.
- In August 2020, a Massachusetts couple expecting their child got more than they bargained for at their gender reveal party. A flare prepared to shoot blue powder, signaling they were expecting a boy, was unknowingly pointed in the wrong direction. The device exploded straight into the man’s genital area, instead of 30 feet into the air as expected, causing significant injury. The mother-to-be stated that the incident occurred because the manufacturer’s directions for using the flare were unclear.
Selling explosives to the general public is a bad idea
As long as companies continue selling volatile products that can be purchased by anyone for use as a party prop, they will likely find themselves at the center of products liability lawsuits. Putting general instructions on an already dangerous explosive doesn’t lend much help to inexperienced users. These companies have been aware for years that when their products are sold to just about anyone, they’re creating a major risk of catastrophic injury.
The sale of fireworks for personal use is legal in Georgia. The only stipulation is that you abide by certain local rules when it comes to the location and time you choose to set them off. Considering the fact that most gender reveal parties occur between mid-day and early evening, this wouldn’t dissuade their use at these celebrations.
Injury claims related to defective products can occur for several reasons, including:
- A dangerous design
- Damage caused during the shipping process
- Anomalies during production
- Poor instructions on how to operate the device
- Failure to warn of danger consistent with improper use
Baby announcements should be filled with nothing but happy memories for you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, some of these occasions are tied to tragic memories involving serious injuries and death.
Were you injured by a faulty product used at a gender reveal party? You may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or retailer. To schedule your free case evaluation today with one of our Savannah or Atlanta product liability attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP, call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
Jed Manton is committed to representing individuals and business that have been harmed by the actions of others. With a solid track record, Jed has helped numerous clients who have been seriously injured or who have lost a loved one obtain justice, while holding the wrongdoer accountable.
Read more about Jed D. Manton here.