The sports tabloids are all over the injuries suffered by Jason Pierre-Paul over the last week. The defensive end lost his right index finger and fractured his right thumb when a firework exploded in his hand. The New York Giants have been weighing their possibilities now that Pierre-Paul may not be able to play in the manner they need for a successful season.
Pierre’s damages may be more than just physical. The New York Post is reporting that Pierre-Paul may be on the bad end of losing at least $40 million. He has a contract offer from the Giants but has not signed it yet. Combined with his medical bills, emotional strain, and possible physical therapy, the consequences of the accident are quite severe.
What the Tabloids Say
Many of the sports tabloids seem to want to blame the 26 year old player, who was just enjoying his July 4th weekend. The player ultimately was most likely the victim of poor product standardization and inadequate warnings. The defensive end was also likely victimized by an improper release of information when his medical records were leaked to the press. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2012, about 8,700 people were hospitalized nationwide due to fireworks injuries. Over half of these injuries were to the feet and hands, with a concentration in the hands.
Holding Fireworks Manufacturers Liable
There is a clear precedent to hold those responsible for the fireworks injuries liable in court. Although it is true that you assume the risk of injuries from fireworks when used as intended, or unintended, earlier in 2015 a Discovery Channel Deadliest Catch star sued the network after a firework went off prematurely, as reported by the New York Times. In other words, there are always legal theories and work arounds to get money for victims of fireworks. In some other cases, the manufacturers and marketers of the devices have been held responsible, but it is not easy. In Pierre-Paul’s case, the likely story and legal theory is going to be that the fireworks manufacturer did not properly label the approved uses of the explosive, allowing it to go off improperly and cause injury.
Considering that the defensive back’s entire future ability to make a living may be in jeopardy, he should consult with the finest in sports and product liability attorneys. Being able to hold the fireworks manufacturer or distributor responsible for the injuries caused may be able to ensure that he is able to feed his family and allow him to get his dignity back.