Our firm has filed a lawsuit for severe burns sustained by a 26 year-old man, which resulted in surgical skin grafts to both feet.
The case arose during his incarceration at USP Atlanta and involves an established practice of food service workers filling containers with kettle-heated water to wash and soak dishes. The plaintiff, who worked in the kitchen, alleges that while he was standing nearby, a filled container collapsed, releasing scalding hot water onto his feet.
The lawsuit comes following multiple similar injuries to inmates involving plastic trash containers, which are commonly used in correctional institutions for storing or transporting hot water.
The lawsuit alleges that the global marketer Newell Brands, promoted its garbage containers in a way that encouraged commercial and institutional uses that extend beyond “merely storing trash.”
In particular, the lawsuit claims that Newell Brands promoted the container to correctional institutions as “virtually indestructible,” “one of the most versatile containers on the market,” and “suitable for extreme temperatures” despite knowledge that due to the container’s low-density polyethylene material, it tends to fail under thermal stress.
In a 2014 decision, an inmate at the Wayne Scott Unit in Texas sustained burns when a nearby plastic trash container was filled with hot water and melted.
In another Texas case, an inmate was injured when nearby plastic trash cans filled with hot water by food service workers collapsed.
And two additional cases, both decided in 2006, centered on burns suffered by inmates when containers used for transporting hot water failed.