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LYONS, Ill. (STMW) — A west suburban family is suing the makers of a firepot and gel after an accident that allegedly severely burned a young girl and mother last fall at their Lyons home.
Ilana Mendoza, 3, was injured Sept. 26, 2010, when a table top firepot spilled gel on her at her home at 4029 Gage Ave. in Lyons, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The suit claims a 16-year-old family member filled a BirdBrain firepot on a wrought iron table on the family’s patio with BirdBrain Citronella Fuel Gel, lit it with a starter and placed the firepot in the center of the table while family members and neighborhood children were in the backyard.
About 10 to 15 minutes later, a toy Illana was playing with went under the table and she went to get it, according to the suit. She bumped the table, causing the firepot to ball over and the boiling hot gel to splash on her hair face, arm and body, the suit said.
Ilana suffered second and third degree burns over 15 to 20 percent of her body, according to the suit. Illana’s mother, Dana Mendoza, suffered second degree burns trying to help her daughter, the suit said.
The suit claims the firepot was defective because the fuel gel was placed in the open cup causing the entire reservoir of gel to be heated by the open flame and become unreasonably hot. It also claims the firepot could easily tip over and was not “spill proof.”
Last week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged people to stop using fuel gels in firepots after several people suffered severe injuries using the scented products.
Madigan urged residents to stop using fuel gels while an investigation into their safety continues. She also called on business owners to pull fuel gels from shelves and for consumers to report firepots or fuel gels they seen on store shelves to her office.
The suit is seeking judgment from BirdBrain Inc., Sam’s Club, where the firepot was purchased, and Jewel Food Stores Inc., where the gel was purchased.
BirdBrain Inc. did not immediately return a Tuesday night phone call seeking comment
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