Thirty-nine-year-old male was burned over 80% of his body while working as an automobile mechanic.


The mechanic was using carburetor spray manufactured by the defendant when the spray ignited, causing a flash fire. The mechanic brought a product liability action against the spray manufacturer. Discovery revealed the spray was so flammable that it posed a flammability hazard if used outdoors and if used indoors, as in a typical garage setting, as it could pocket and creep in low areas causing an ignition hazard. Additionally, discovery revealed the spray could be ignited by sources foreseeably used in the vicinity of the spray, such as metal-to-metal spark, or a mechanic’s light or battery charger. Despite the very significant hazards associated with this spray, the defendant failed to warn that the spray should not be used within three feet of energized equipment; that the spray can pocket and creep causing a fire, without proper ventilation; that the spray’s flammable vapors tend to accumulate in low areas and that the spray’s normal use can result in flash fires.