The recent closing (7/31/12) of a major US gas can manufacturer has probably not been noticed by most folks. Chances are, though, if you were to go out to your garage or shed, you'd likely find a gas can made by Blitz USA. At one time, they had about a 70-75% market share of US fuel can sales. Blitz was a major supplier to Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply, among others.
A US-based company, with 117 employees, is shut down. Not through competition, manufacturing inefficiencies, increased cost of raw materials and labor, or product obsolescence. The company was killed by dozens of frivolous lawsuits.
These lawsuits were primarily filed by four law firms, hoping to make a buck, or a million bucks, or more. The lawsuits were generally along the lines of "Blitz USA made the gasoline can that exploded when I disregarded the multiple warnings molded into the exterior of the container, and poured gasoline from the container onto a burning fire. I was burned, and it's all their fault."
The vast majority of the "victims" in the fuel container fires were idiots. Who, in their right mind, pours gasoline onto a fire? The only innocent victims, in my mind, were the bystanders such as the 4 year old child killed when her father poured gasoline into a wood burning stove INSIDE A CAMPER. Dumb...just plain dumb.
Then multiple law firms got involved. They "spun" their legal cases to portray Blitz as an evil, incompetent, unfeeling corporate entity who was negligent in the design & manufacture of their products. Yup, negligent. Apparently Blitz should have designed their fuel cans such that it was impossible for users to harm themselves. Who needs to take personal responsibility when you can hire a law firm on a contingency basis?
After spending nearly $30 million in defending itself from more and more and more lawsuits, and being unable to afford future insurance policies, Blitz was forced to close its doors.
When I stopped by Tractor Supply a few days ago to buy a 2.5 gal gas can, I bought one that was made in Canada. There were no Blitz cans on the shelves.
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