FROM THE "POSSIBLY FRIVOLOUS" FILE - A Milwaukee man suffered serious burns during a camping trip and is suing the company that makes his aftershave, reported WISN-TV in Milwaukee. Federal court records filed this week show that Charles Lewitzke, 81, was at the Arrowhead Campground in the Wisconsin Dells with his kids and grandchildren in 2004. He washed and shaved in a bathroom and afterward applied Brut aftershave on his neck and face. He also used an aerosol deodorant.
Documents said that after grooming, he walked to a fire pit to cook breakfast. When he was starting the fire, the body parts that had Brut on them ignited, seriously burning 30 percent of his body. The second- and third-degree burns needed skin grafts in some areas. Lewitzke is suing Brut's manufacturers and the retailer where he brought the two products, Wal-Mart, for damages.
Legal expert Jeanine Geske said the case was an interesting one. "At first blush this seems like it's not going anywhere but it may have some appeal," Geske said. The Brut products do say they're flammable and shouldn't be used while smoking or near a fire, but Lewitzke's lawyer argued that doesn't suffice because Lewitzke didn't actually use the products by the fire.
"They're arguing they did not say, 'After you put it on you remain flammable for a period of time,'" Geske said. Geske admits that Lewitzke does have a point, but she predicts the defendants will say the argument is a stretch. "The company will fight hard to say, 'Look that's a sufficient way to say, that should tell you not to be around a flame while you still have the product evaporating off your body," Geske said. The suit is requesting an unspecified amount of damages.
Sounds like a valid enough suit really. Wonder if any smokers have experienced the same fate when lighting up after smoking.
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