If you haven’t had a chance to try deep fried turkey for Thanksgiving then you are missing out. The fact is that deep fried turkey has soared in popularity over the last decade and it has been the cause of many thanksgiving accidents. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), about 4,300 house fires are started on Thanksgiving every year, accounting for 15 deaths and almost $27 million in property damage, many of them due to deep fried turkey accidents. Interestingly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that most turkey frying accidents occur while the oil is being heated, before the turkey is even in the fryer.
Safety Tips for Deep Frying your Turkey
- Deep fry the turkey outside, a fair distance from the house and never under an enclosure.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry when placing it in the fryer (oil and water don’t mix).
- Keep animals and kids away from the deep fryer for their own safety and so they don’t accidently knock it over.
- Do not drink or do drugs; you will need all your wits about you.
- Do not use too much oil as many accidents occur when excess oil spills over the pot.
- Oil should be no more than half an inch above the turkey.
- Turn off the fryer immediately if any smoke appears.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Center the pot over the burner.
- Raise and lower the turkey slowly to reduce the chance of splatters and burns.
- Make sure your skin is completely covered when you deposit, check on or remove the turkey.
- Check on the oil temperature frequently.
- If a fire ignites, call 911 immediately. DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water.
If you have been injured or suffered other damages because of a faulty deep fryer, you may have a legitimate defective product liability claim. If you are not sure whether you have a case, it would be helpful to be familiar with the basics of proving product liability.
The specifics in the law differ from state to state but in most places you need to prove all the following “elements” in order to win your case:
You were injured or suffered losses. For example, you were splashed with scalding oil and burnt badly while deep frying your thanksgiving turkey. You suffered a lot of pain, had to go to the emergency room for treatment and it cost time and money.
The product is defective. The simplest angle to prove is that there was something actually wrong with the deep fryer such as a manufacturing error that caused the oil to get too hot or leak. Although this could be a much harder point to make, you could also try to prove that the product was manufactured according to design but that the design itself is flawed and thereby caused your injury. You could also have a case if the product’s package lacked reasonable warnings about its potential dangers. This, however, could also prove to be difficult in the case of a deep fryer which is meant to get very hot.
The defect caused your injury. You will not win a case by showing that you were injured while using the product; you need to prove that the defective product caused your injury.
You were using the product as it was intended. You must have been using the deep fryer in a reasonable manner for cooking your turkey.
It is always tricky to prove a defective products claim and the law varies from state to state. It would be in your best interest to contact an experienced product liability lawyer if you get injured while deep frying your thanksgiving turkey. The experienced product liability attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. are here to help; call us today!