Wal-Mart agrees to contribute $25 mil...

Wal-Mart agrees to contribute $25 million to settle gas can explosion lawsuits

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#1 Dec 9, 2013
Wal-Mart agrees to contribute $25 million to settle gas can explosion lawsuits

By Lisa Myers and Rich Gardella, NBC News
The nationís largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has agreed to contribute about $25 million to settle unresolved lawsuits filed on behalf of consumers allegedly injured or killed in explosions involving portable plastic gas cans, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

The money from Wal-Mart amounts to slightly more than 15 percent of a proposed $161 million fund that would settle dozens of lawsuits against the largest manufacturer of these cans, Blitz USA, records from U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware show. A hearing on the proposed settlement is set for early next year.
The retail chain, the largest seller of plastic gas cans, sold tens of millions of Blitz gas cans. In agreeing to contribute toward the settlement, it does not acknowledge any safety defect in the Blitz cans.
Blitz, based in Miami, Okla., and formerly the nationís largest manufacturer of plastic gas cans, is now in bankruptcy and out of business, largely because of the lawsuits and previous payouts to victims of alleged gas can explosions.
Plaintiff attorneys representing individuals burned in alleged gas can explosion incidents have filed at least 80 lawsuits against can manufacturers in the last decade or so. Some have also targeted retailers that sold the cans.
Wal-Mart tells NBC News it's been named as a defendant in 24 of the lawsuits.


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