As a Pompano Beach premises liability attorney, I was very interested in a recent news item about a gas pump exploding for no clear reason. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Sept. 9 that investigators are still looking into the cause of the explosion at a Coconut Creek gas station Sept. 8. Fortunately, the explosion caused only minor injuries to Eden Sherwood, a 48-year-old Deerfield Beach man who was using the pump at the time. However, the fire melted a plastic trash can next to the pump and charred Sherwood’s car with what he described as a “ball of fire.”
According to the article, Sherwood had just finished pumping gas and was reaching into his car for his cell phone when the explosion happened. Investigators do not believe that the cell phone was the cause, and said Sherwood did not report smoking or lighting a match before the incident. However, it’s unclear whether Sherwood’s car was running while he was pumping gas; he said he turned it off, but firefighters found it running at the scene. Investigators are considering the car’s engine as one cause, as well as mechanical malfunctions by the pump, electrical problems, arson and smoking. The financial tally for the damage to the car and station may reach as high as $70,000.
Investigators may still find that actions by Sherwood or another person were responsible for the explosion. However, as an Aventura premises liability lawyer, I immediately wondered whether this incident could be traced to faulty equipment or maintenance by the gas station itself. Under Florida law, all businesses have a responsibility to clear up safety hazards on property open to the public. If people seriously hurt because they haven’t met those standards, the victims have the right to sue the business for their injuries and all related financial costs, such as the cost of hospitalization and a replacement car. In this case, those financial costs could be high — but everyone involved is lucky that the cost in human suffering wasn’t much higher.
The law firm of Cohn, Smith & Cohn represents victims of injuries caused by a property owner’s unreasonable lack of attention to safety. That includes injuries to guests at private homes as well as injuries in all types of public place, including government land as well as businesses. Injuries in public are often dismissed as minor “slip and fall” accidents, but in reality, they can be catastrophic, including head injuries, damage to the neck and spinal cord, swimming pool drownings and attacks by dangerous dogs. Our Sunrise premises liability attorneys help victims of these serious accidents collect they money they need for medical treatments and other accident-related costs, through negotiations with insurers as well as litigation.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident on someone else’s property and you believe it was caused by the property owner’s negligence, you should talk to Cohn, Smith & Cohn for help. For a free consultation with absolutely no further obligation to you, please contact us through the Internet or call our main office in Hollywood at (954) 431-8100.