Rum Fireball Lawsuit Heats Up for Bacardi

     (CN) – Rum manufacturer Bacardi can’t extinguish a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed to be burned by flames shooting from one of its bottles, a New York appeals court ruled.
     Lauren Sclafani claims that a bartender at a Brother Jimmy’s BBQ restaurant poured Bacardi rum on the surface of the bar and lit it on fire.
     The flames entered the bottle and lit the rum, causing flames to shoot out of the bottle, and Sclafani claimed this caused her severe burn injuries. She sued Bacardi and Brother Jimmy’s for negligence and defective design.
     The trial court denied Bacardi’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and the First Department New York Appellate Division affirmed last week.
     “Although Bacardi included warning labels on the bottle of Bacardi 151 and installed a removable flame arrester, it did so while actively promoting the very pyrotechnic uses that caused plaintiff’s injuries,” the unsigned decision states wrote.
     The Manhattan-based court also ruled that the trial judge properly denied Bacardi’s attempt to dismiss Sclafani’s request for punitive damages.

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