Don’t try this at home? Hosts putting fireworks on their 4th of July party menu may be liable if a guest is injured

June 13, 2023

Media contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

Southfield, Mich. ---June 13, 2023--- As the 4th of July approaches, the party planning begins. While pyrotechnics are a traditional part of the beloved summer holiday, A. Vince Colella, a personal injury and civil rights attorney at Moss & Colella, P.C., urges caution to party hosts who serve up fireworks at home as part of an Independence Day celebration.

“Homeowners may be found liable when a guest is injured from fireworks or other pyrotechnics set off as part of a summer gathering,” Colella said. “The case can depend not only on whether there was negligence of the part of the operator or host, but also on the behavior of the guest who was injured. Did they put themselves needlessly in harm’s way? Did they ignore warnings to stay a safe distance from the fireworks? These are the type of questions that determine the likelihood of paid damages,” Colella said.

When there is a valid claim, it is generally paid through the homeowner’s insurance policy, but Colella says the process can be messy and costly for the party host if a lawsuit for damages ensues.

“It’s not necessarily an easy claim, because the use of ‘fireworks’ or ‘explosives’ could be excluded from coverage, thereby exposing the homeowner to personal liability for the injuries and damages caused by their use,” Colella said.  “Plus, policies may also have a large deductible that a homeowner is required to pay before the indemnification provisions are triggered.”

Colella adds that violation of the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act resulting in serious impairment of a body function of another person constitutes a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.  

“When you consider all the potential negative ramifications, the use of fireworks is best left to the professionals, and not individual party hosts,” Colella said.

A list of fireworks safety tips, including never making your own fireworks and keeping a hose and bucket of water nearby when using fireworks, can be found here.

About Moss & Colella

Celebrating more than 25 years, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination, medical malpractice and wrongful death.  The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and other severe injury and wrongful death claims. To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit www.mosscolella.com.

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The attorneys of Moss & Colella have carefully chosen their career paths to fight for those that have suffered from injury and wrongful death. We believe every citizen should have the right to hire the best lawyer who will actively advocate for their case.

David Moss and Vince Colella have over 60 collective years of personal injury trial experience that provides you a level of legal services and success unmatched by other firms. By working together, we have the ability to find creative, effective, and efficient solutions to even the most complex cases. No matter what situation you face, we will help you get through it.

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