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Woman can sue Bacardi over injury

Court said rum maker promoted pyrotechnic uses of its product

A woman, who filed suit against a Manhattan restaurant in 2008 after suffering burns when the establishment’s bartender poured Bacardi 151 rum onto the bar and set it ablaze, may proceed with her suit. Yesterday, the Appellate Division of the Manhattan Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s 2010 ruling that the lawsuit may move forward.

Lauren Sclafani claims she was severely burned when the bottle of Bacardi 151 caught fire and shot flaming liquid onto her. In its ruling, the court acknowledged that Bacardi placed warning labels on its bottles and installed a removable flame arrester, but  "it did so while actively promoting the very pyrotechnic uses that caused plaintiff's injuries."

Sclafani claims in her suit that the rum maker knew or should have known that its product was used for fire displays. She also says the fire arrester was poorly designed.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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