I reported a bit ago about 2 women who are suing Bacardi over burns they received in a bar. Bacardi is now coming back at them with some interesting observations. They say that the alcohol used to light the fire was rubbing alcohol, not their 151 rum.
Bacardi denies 151 rum caused burns
Four years ago, a patron at a South Florida bar turned a bottle of rum into a “flame thrower.” Now three women who got burned are trying to hold Bacardi responsible.
The women have sued the Miami spirits company, blaming its 151-proof rum for the injuries they suffered after a bottle used to pour shots turned into a flame thrower. But Bacardi, in a motion to dismiss the lawsuits, said the women were hurt after a bartender poured rubbing alcohol on the bar of the “Secrets” adult club and ignited it as part of a promotion for flaming drinks in 2002.
Quoting from Miami-Dade County police and fire reports, the company said another drunken patron placed a paper menu in the fire and then “pulled it up in the air,” causing the fire to spread.
“Indeed, rubbing alcohol is the sole named source of the fire,” Bacardi USA said in the motion filed last week in federal court. “Bacardi had nothing to do with this misfortune.”
This would seem to be a material question in the case. If the stuff used to light the fire wasn’t Bacardi, then the lawsuit is frivolous and should be tossed out on its ear. I had thought that this would prompt Bacardi to put one of those idiot-level warning labels on their bottles warning people that alcholic beverages might, you know, catch fire if you light it with a friggin’ match. Silly me for thinking that. Turns out they already have such a warning label. And – get this – the cap used on the bottle (the one Bacardi provides, I might add) has a flame arrester on it!
Bacardi also said its 151 rum contains warning labels about its flammability — one says “Do not use this product for flaming dishes or drinks” — and features a “flame arrester” to prevent it from accidentally igniting.
The lawsuit the women are pressing alleges that the cap is “to easy to remove.” What? They’re suggesting Bacardi lock the cap on the bottle top with a padlock? How about holding the moron who actually removed the cap responsible – assuming that’s what happened, of course. Their case was weak before. With the facts now available, it’s anemic to the point of a coma. I reiterate my call for the Judge to toss this one out with predjuidice and for Bacardi to go after the lawyers who convinced these women they had a case.
As a non-smoker I will be the first to tell you that I don’t shed a tear over smoking bans. The habit is ugly in just about every sense of the word and the presence of someone smoking in the immediate vicinity degrades or ruins just about any experience I can imagine. That is doubly true at mealtimes – there’s nothing I find more disgusting than sitting down with my family at a restaurant and trying to eat with the aroma of burning weed wafting over from the “smoking section.”
In recent years, I’ve come to view those bans a little differently. I am of the opinion that market forces – families deciding to avoid a given restaurant, for example – would produce the same or similar effect without opening the door for government regulation in so many aspects of our lives. The argument used at the time these bans were considered was that if we allowed the government to ban smoking, which is an otherwise completely legal behavior, how long would it be before they started trying to ban other things that “weren’t good for you?” The example used was the coming of the “food police” to keep you from eating things like french fries and red meat.
I recall mildly scoffing at such a notion. I’m not scoffing as I read this morning’s news item titled, “NYC Health Department Proposes Ban on Trans Fats.”
Three years after the city banned smoking in restaurants, health officials are talking about prohibiting something they say is almost as bad: artificial trans fatty acids.
The city health department unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar cooks at any of the city’s 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.
Artificial trans fats are found in some shortenings, margarine and frying oils and turn up in foods from pie crusts to french fries to doughnuts.
So, if these folks have their way, thousands of foods that have been happily served in New York for literally centuries, now, will be outlawed. The food police really have arrived.
I will offer an argument in support of smoking bans that shows a difference in these 2 items, however. When the clown at the next table blazes up, his smoke travels and I have to ingest it while I breathe. When the same guy orders up a double-fried cheese log with a side of curly fries, I don’t have to eat any of them. He can chow down on every crumb and my body doesn’t absorb any of it. This is the intrinsic difference between these 2 kinds of ban. The 1 prevents me from harming my neighbor. The other is merely intrusive into my life.
I would hope that the voters of New York will demonstrate their desire that their government try to better accomplish the goals they already have and worry less about whether people are eating a donut and french fries.
Update : Ed Morrissey weighs in on the subject, too, with a good question about what NYC will do about peanut allergies next.