Paul and Jessica Bucher are suing a West Bend hotel because their daughter burned her hands by putting them on the glass shielding a gas fireplace. Their daughter was burned sufficiently that she had to receive emergency treatment and continued medical treatment because of the burns. I'm surprised this is receiving press coverage at all. However, it now seems everyone has an opinion on the matter, regardless of how uninformed it may be.
Not to pick on Owen Robinson (although, that is what we do around here), but I begin to wonder if some people even know anything about fireplaces. After noting that he and Mrs. Robinson were supposedly there when it happened, the only insight he offers is,
It really stinks that their child burned her hands, but I don’t think the hotel is to blame. It’s a fireplace. There isn’t any way to keep it from being hot other than turning it off. This was a tragic accident. Nothing more.
1) I have a wood fireplace with glass doors in my own home. Despite the heat generated by the fires I've made, I cannot recall anytime the glass doors were hot enough to send a child to the emergency room.
2) The fireplace in question is a gas fireplace. If there's a chance the darn thing is too hot, someone could just adjust the gas accordingly just like a gas grill in the backyard.
I'm tempted to bring in the personal injury attorney that I know as an expert, but I don't think I can afford his consulting fee. Since I don't see any other personal injury attorney experts out there writing on this, let me just note that nobody knows what is really going on. And given that this is likely to be settled in mediation, probably none of us will. I could ask the Buchers, and there's a chance they would tell me, but it's none of my business. Yours either, really.
But some of the commenters over at Boots & Sabers seemed to be of the opinion that conservatives like the Buchers should not be allowed to file lawsuits because supposedly conservatives don't believe in lawsuits. I would take the argument seriously except I think it was not advanced seriously at all. Instead it was the result of animus towards the Buchers.
And since the Buchers are not seeking special treament in this case or behaving in any manner contrary to their own expectations of the limits of the legal system, I would suggest their critics find something else to get in a tizzy about.