Homebrewer Sues Manufacturer For Injury

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Justin

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Did anyone else read in Saturday's "The Advertiser"(Adelaide) about the homebrewer that is sueing Morgans because of injuries sustained from exploding bottles? Correct me if I'm wrong as I read this a few days ago but the gist was pretty much this.

Apparently, the guy is sueing for injury and damages that he sustained after two bottles of homebrew (Morgan's Royal Oak Amber Ale none the less) exploded in his face. He ended up losing an eye as a result of a high speed bit of glass giving him a nice penetrating injury to the eye amoung other places.

Apparently he made the kit as per instructions but included a brew booster pack. Apparently the kit itself warns of the danger of exploding bottles if bottled before fermentation is complete but the brew booster itself does not warn of the possible danger and this is the point for which they are contesting.

I feel sorry for the guy but you really have to be responsible for your actions and use a bit of common sense from the fact that it can hardly be the fault of the company if you weren't able to identify that the warnings on the kit may also apply to other kits and/or additives.

I haven't heard the outcome of the case but I'd be curious to know which way it goes. Really got to watch those exploding bottles. I wonder what he did with the other 28 bottles of explosive beer? There is no way you'd get me grabbing hold of them and taking the tops off to release the pressure-goodbye fingers-sounds like a job for the bomb squad.

Still sad to see someone hurt by our hobby. Last incident I saw related to this hobby was my brewing buddies eyelashes, eyebrows and fringe vanishing in a flash of flame and fire from his burner. Funny thing was he then had to go and get his bottle refilled looking like that. I wonder what the bloke selling the gas thought?

Cheers, Justin
 

jgriffin

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Luckily Australian litigation laws aren't as stupid as those in other countries. In fact by using Brew booster rather than the sugar on the can, i wonder if he failed to follow instructions?

I've noticed on some Coopers cans now, they warn against using glass bottles, and to use the PET ones instead. Could be cheap future insurance.

But really, you've got to take responsibility for your own actions. THis culture of suing people really bites.
 

mandaloril

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I have only been brewing a short while, so how common is bottle eruption? All my beers have survived in tact but when ever I tell someone that I brew beer the first thing they tell me is to watch out for exploding bottles, like it was an urban legend of some sort. I'm just curious as to how widespread the problem is or what can lead to upping the chances of explosions occuring.

Oh and I think that dude should never have even brought the case to court on account of him assuming the risk when he purchased the kit and decided to brew.
 

jgriffin

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I've seen lots of exploded bottles, but every time it was kit & kilo hackers who decided to boost the alcohol by throwing in lots of sugar.
 

johnno

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jgriffin said:
But really, you've got to take responsibility for your own actions. THis culture of suing people really bites.
John,
I really think the companies that sell these product are going to have to give good warning about the potential of these bottle bombs.
I dont see a problem with them getting sued if they dont warn you on the label.
Sure people are responsible for their own actions but the way these kits are advertised it makes it seem very easy to make excellent beer.
The average joe may just purchase one without researching further into it because of the way they are advertised.
They are not advertised with the potential danger of the exploding bottle on the pack.
Anyway my 2 cents worth
 

MAH

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Hi mandaloril

I keg now, but for the years I bottled I never had a single bottle bomb. If you wait until fermentation is complete and don't overprime, you will have no problems.

This means using a hydrometer to check that you've reached final gravity and it's best to bulk prime so you get an even amount of priming sugar in each bottle no matter what size it is. Plus measuring the priming sugar by weight and not quantity.

It's very easy to avoid bottle bombs.

Cheers
MAH
 

nonicman

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I've had bottles explode before. Both times it was mistakes in the priming. A few years ago I tried priming with dextrose, at the same rates as sugar (it may not have finished fermenting either didn't have a hydrometer or much idea), most of the bottles in that batch exploded. Lost two bottles at the start of this year, wasn't paying much attention and primed two bottles twice.

Now I bulk prime (using ProMash for the weight amounts of priming material, either dextrose or DME) and use a hydrometer.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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From my experience a lot of newbies do not use the hydrometer. . .easy to bottle a stuck ferment. I also wish instructions would not say to look at the airlock to gauge the progress of the ferment and would not say to bottle after 4 days! Be nice if they said instead to stir the yeast up from the bottom of hte fermenter at the end of day four.

Jovial Monk
 

Kai

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The only bottle bombs I've had were old weak bottles, and they weren't overly explosive. Still enough to do injury though, I'm sure.
I guess it's still a risk, but there's not much I can do about it.

I would like to know how badly this guy cocked it up.
 

morry

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Maybe I can sue beer companies for loss of brain cells. Only god knows how many Ive lost to beer. I might even make some money out of it.
 

sosman

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johnno said:
I really think the companies that sell these product are going to have to give good warning about the potential of these bottle bombs.
Johnno - yes they should give fair warning but it is a matter of how far you go to warn against complete stupidity.

Two bottles exploded in his face. I mean he is really unlucky or more likely clacking the two bottles together - sheesh. Or maybe one exploded and he said to himself, what a great party trick, how about I shake up the next one and show my friends.
 

jgriffin

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I jsut had a look on the back of a coppers can here. It say in bold writing.

WARNING - Glass bottles my explode if over primed (too much sugar added) or fermentation is incomplete. We reccomend the use of Coopers PET bottles

Seeing Morgans comes out of the same factory, i assume it has a similar warning.

If people can't read instructions on the back of a can, then how is that the manufacturers fault?

I used to work for a company that made install kits for broadband. One of the USB modems required you to install the drivers before plugging it in, otherwise it would stuff up. So we put a flouro orange sticker over the plug, stating this fact. The number of people that ignored it, ripped it off, and plugged it in were amazing. These same people complained bitterly when it failed.

One of the problems with todays society is that we promote survival of the dumbest. This need to wrap everyone in cotton wool to protect them from themselves shits me.
 

warb

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jgriffin said:
survival of the dumbest.
love it... whats that song "been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding" ..

i think i mite get high on drugs, head down to the beach, dive into a sand bank, and sue..
 

Tallgum

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warb said:
jgriffin said:
survival of the dumbest.
love it... whats that song "been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding" ..

i think i mite get high on drugs, head down to the beach, dive into a sand bank, and sue..
Hey Warb, dont forget the esky full of home brew. :chug:
 

johnno

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johnno said:
jgriffin said:
But really, you've got to take responsibility for your own actions. THis culture of suing people really bites.
The average joe may just purchase one without researching further into it because of the way they are advertised.
They are not advertised with the potential danger of the exploding bottle on the pack.
Ahem....just checked the back of a savings brand kit and the warning is there. :unsure:
Just goes to show you how much of the kit instructions I have taken notice of. Not.
This is due to the fact that I did research before getting into it and was aware of the potential dangers. I relied on AHB members and the Grumps forum a lot(and still do) for the knowledge.
Coles were selling out the savings brand kits for $1 by the way. Couldnt help myself. Just for the experimental brews, starters etc.

Bottle bombs to the dumb people i say!!!!!

cheers
 

Chatty

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Bottle bombs to the dumb people i say!!!!!
Jeez Johnno, sounds like you're condoning the actions of the lowest common denomenators. Better get the solicitor ready...

But really, everything in life has got risk - stupidity cannot be sanctioned by blaming everyone else for your mistake.

It bloody gets me real irate when things like this happen. Like the bloke who got into the grain tank of a harvester to clean it with the auger running - he ended up losing his foot. Now 'worksafe' are taking the importer, farmer and the bloke who sold the machine to court alleging unsafe machinery. The only problem is that all gaurds/warning labels/safety requirements were met - except the stupid bloke got in the way.

(Steam escaping from ears...) :angry:

Chatty
 

johnno

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Well if the warning is there and precautions are clearly stated/printed clearly what can i say.
It clearly says on the kit labelling that this kind of thing can happen. If people are too stupid/dumb/ignorant/smart to take heed of the warning, well then the end result is somebody getting a bottle bomb.
Its like me working on a TV/VCR/DVD player without disconnecting the power first. And I know nothing of how electricity works.
Or crossing the road against a red light getting knocked over then blaming the driver.

QUOTE/But really, everything in life has got risk - stupidity cannot be sanctioned by blaming everyone else for your mistake.QUOTE/
 

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