Skip to main content


Nationwide Representation
Nationwide Success

Propane Heater Burn Injury Lawsuits

Product Defect Lawyer reviewing faulty home heater cases

Propane heaters, and their oil and electric counterparts, have long been a concern for safety experts for posing fire and Space Heaters for consumers. Hundreds of home fires each year are directly related to home heater accidents.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more 300 deaths a year result from space heating accidents. As a result, propane heater lawsuits have been filed around the country on behalf of injured consumers, holding negligent heater manufacturers liable.

Portable propane heaters and other home heaters are practical for many Americans, but they are not without dangers. Accidents involving propane heaters can occur due to the following:

  • Defective heater design: portable propane heaters and home space heaters may be inherently dangerous and pose fire, explosion and burn injury risks
  • Poorly maintained heaters: older models of home heaters, including propane heating devices with aging gas lines, can be hazardous
  • Propane gas leaks go undetected because propane may not be “odorized,” leading to toxic exposure.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability, product defect and propane heater lawsuits. 

Defective Home Propane Heaters

Home heaters are notoriously dangerous appliances, and every year, dreadful fire accidents result in thousands of fires and hundreds of burn injuries and preventable deaths.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 home fires each year are associated with the use of space heaters. Thousands of other victims get emergency room care for burn injuries associated with defective home heaters.

Around 30 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, and 80 percent of home heating fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Heating equipment continues to be a leading cause of home fires, along with reckless cooking and smoking accidents. About half of fatal home heater fires begin because something is too close to the heater and ignites.

A leading factor contributing to portable space heater fires is heating equipment too close to upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, or bedding.

Space Heater Safety

  • Use a metal screen to prevent contact and flame burn injury
  • Keep all objects at least 3 feet away from heating equipment—as well as a wide-berth “kid-free zone”
  • Use heating equipment recognized by a testing laboratory
  • Install home heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions
  • Have a qualified professional install home heating equipment
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
  • Install and maintain CO detectors and smoke detectors

Portable Electric Space Heaters

  • Turn space heaters off when you go to sleep or leave the room
  • Use portable space heaters with automatic shut off
  • Place space heater on flat surface
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets, never into an extension cord
  • Always use the proper fuel as specified by manufacturer and instructions

Wood Burning Stoves

  • Install stoves following manufacturer’s instructions
  • In wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood
  • Never start fired with a flammable liquid, only flame and paper
  • Keep the doors of wood stove closed unless loading the fire
  • Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container and away from the home and any other nearby buildings
  • Chimneys and vents should be cleaned at least once a year

Propane Heaters Recalled

Each year, hundreds of Americans suffer burn injuries that result from propane heater defects and other space heater accidents.

Fires, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and serious burns are a concern for every household using space heaters and portable home heaters. Some recent portable heater recalls have included:

  • Propane Space Heaters
  • Tower Heater Fans
  • Electric Space Heaters
  • Oil-Filled Electric Heaters
  • Ceramic Heaters
  • Oscillating Fan Heaters
  • Portable Fan Heaters
  • Baseboard Convection Heaters
  • Radiant Heaters
  • Patio Heaters
  • Portable Generators

Propane Heaters Lawsuits

Manufacturers have faced propane heater lawsuits and are held accountable for burn injury, property damages when their defective products lead to fire accidents.

Consumer safety lawyers aim to protect home and business owners from dangerous products on the market. When hazardous heaters injure consumers, large settlements are likely in product liability claims.

The Lyon Firm focuses on product safety litigation and represents plaintiffs nationwide following catastrophic injuries linked to defective products. There are hundreds of dangerous propane heaters on the market today, endangering consumers on a daily basis.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing defective propane heaters
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.

voice icon

Give Yourself a Voice


Get Justice

proven results

Gain Recovery

client focused

Generate Awareness

Questions about Propane Heaters & Product Liability Claims

What is a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.

In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a product is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.

How is a Propane Heater Defined as Defective?
Ohio Definition of Defective

A product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are Cincinnati product liability and strict liability claims available in Ohio and in most jurisdictions nationwide:

(1)  Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:

These issues arise where the product is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials (e.g., Tylenol contamination, food poisoning, damaged car part from factory installation).

As a result of the deviation, the product enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under Ohio product liability law.

(2) Defective design and/or formulation:

Defective design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.

Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. Automotive recalls and product liability cases are usually a result of a defective design. Common cases include the Toyota Brake Recall, Chrysler Gen III seat belt buckle, lap belt only cases, Metal on Metal hip implants, transvaginal mesh.)

(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:

All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. The most common area of litigation for failure to warn is in pharmaceutical litigation.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to warn of the known or foreseeable side effects and update the warnings in a timely manner. Litigation arises where there is evidence the manufacturer failed to timely update a warning in light of new data or simply ignored the risk and failed to conduct sufficient research to identify and then disclose the risk.

(4) Misrepresentation:

The product fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.

The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. An example of a breach of warranty cases are cases involving automotive defects.

How do you prove heater design defects?

Risks:  The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a product:  (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.

BenefitsThe following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)

Defenses for Defective Design(1) a pharmaceutical drug or medical device is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the pharmaceutical or medical device; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).

What is a manufacturing defect?

A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many auto companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to defective airbags, software defects, tire failure, and other dangerous manufacturing errors.

Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.

The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care.  Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.

What is a failure to warn lawsuit?

In determining whether a product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:

  • The manufacturer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk
  • A reasonable manufacturer would have provided a warning of the risk
  • The manufacturer failed to provide the warning
  • The person was injured due to a lack of warning. The same elements apply whether the claim is based on a warning present during the marketing or post-sale warnings.
What are consumer product safety regulations?

Design and manufacturing defects result in thousands of product recalls each year in the United States, initiated by federal safety agencies. Following injury and illness, regardless of recall status, victims and plaintiffs may pursue legal action and contact a product liability lawyer to begin the litigation process. Rightful compensation can be sought and help plaintiffs recover medical costs and other related damages.

Product liability law overlaps with regulatory law, which are the systems of legislative rules and administrative agencies, and part of federal and state governments. These agencies regulate the safety of the products sold to the public. Examples include:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA;)
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

The listed government agencies, however, may initiate recalls of dangerous products but do not provide remedies or compensation for damages where an individual is injured due to the defective product.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Product Liability lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Your Right to Safety
Watch our Video About the Process

Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.

Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their product liability lawyer

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.



(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.



(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.