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We believe a community is at its best when it stands together. DWKMRS is known throughout Central Florida as a firm that is passionate about strengthening the community and helping to address the needs of people who live, work or travel here.

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DWKMRS is known throughout the state of Florida as a firm that is passionate about strengthening the community and helping to address the needs of people who live, work or travel here.

Give Your Time This Holiday Season in Central Florida

The best part of the holidays is the way we spend our time. We tend to be a little stressed about making everything perfect but we are more deliberate with how we spend our time. The holidays also remind us of giving. We’ve put together a short holiday guide for ways...

Tony Sos Receives AV Rating

We are proud to announce that our partner, Tony Sos, has received an AV rating though the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. The Martindale Hubbell peer reviewed rating system, rates attorneys based on their legal abilities and ethical standards. For legal abilities,...

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From Tragedy to Triumph: How a Burn Survivor Became a Source of Inspiration

Allison Massari is one of our most inspiring clients. In 1998, she was involved in a horrific collision that left her trapped inside a burning car while conscious. Her survival is owed to the selfless act of a man who witnessed the accident, ran toward the fire, and kicked in the car window to retrieve Allison. Over 50% of her body was burned, but she survived!

Healing and Helping Others

Just one year later, during her continued recovery, Allison created The Roger Pepper Adventure Camp for Teen Burn Survivors, which was named in honor of her rescuer. Taking place at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado, the camps promote and provide outdoor recreation to teenagers with severe burns. The activities offered in these summer and winter camps teach young burn survivors new life skills, build self-confidence, and empower them to be more comfortable with their physical and emotional scars.

“For a young person who is suffering, it is vital for them to know that they can hang on – especially when they feel alone. They can go back to the memory of their experiences at the camp and know that they are truly cared for and supported, and that they are capable of doing great things. There is no substitute for that,” explained Allison.

DWK Law Firm Orlando, FL Burn Injury

Tenacity and Vigor

These camps are ongoing and continue to have a significant and positive impact on the lives of teen burn survivors. But the story doesn’t end there. Three years after her initial accident, Allison was involved in another collision that resulted in a serious head injury. Her tenacity and vigor again led her to a place of healing, and now Allison shares her extraordinary story through her work as a public and motivational speaker. She is an incredible entrepreneur and artist, and an inspiration to all who have the good fortune to meet her. She is just one of several clients who have turned a tragic story into a story of triumph. It was our honor to be part of Allison’s journey.

Help Make an Impact

Click here to make a donation to The Roger Pepper Adventure Camp for Teen Burn Survivors to help Allison continue this important work.

National Burn Awareness Week

February 1st through 7th, 2016, is National Burn Awareness Week.  Take some time this week as a family to learn how to care for a burn and more importantly how to prevent a burn from occurring in the first place. Our website contains several burn awareness resources that will educate you and your family.

Unfortunately, children are often the victims of a burn injury.  If you are a teacher or parent of a young child, we highly encourage you to visit our resource page and clink on the Shriner’s Burn Awareness link.  Here you can find activity booklets for children that help educate young ones on this important issue.  These activity books contain numerous safety tips and activities that you can do with children.

If your child likes to learn and play on the computer, introduce them to “Sparky the Dog” by clicking resources page.  Sparky the Dog a great interactive game that will educate your child on important fire safety procedures.

As personal injury attorneys here in Central Florida, we’ve represented several children and adults who have been badly burned.  It is our experience with these victims and families that compels us to share this information.  On behalf of our entire staff here at Dellecker Wilson King McKenn Ruffier & Sos, I want to thank you for visiting our site.  Stay Safe and thank you for celebrating Burn Awareness week.

Gas Cans Pose Severe Burn Injury Risk

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 11 deaths and 1,200 emergency room injuries were caused by gas can explosions since 1998. Each of these reports involved explosions while gasoline was being poured from a red, plastic gasoline container. Despite the explosion and burn injury risk associated with plastic gas cans, roughly 100 million are in circulation around the United States.

Gas Can Flashback Explosions

The type of explosion occurring within these gas cans is known as a “flashback explosion.” These explosions occur under specific chemical conditions. Scientific testing conducted at the combustion lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute confirms the flashback explosion theory.

How a Flashback Works

During a flashback explosion, gas vapor escapes a can containing a small amount of gasoline. If this escaped gas comes in contact with a spark or flame, it can ignite. After the initial ignition, the gas can “flash back” into the can. If the gas inside the can is composed of a certain concentration, it can ignite as well. This can lead to a flame explosion with potentially catastrophic results.

Gas Can Explosion Injuries

In 2010, Robert Jacoby suffered severe gas can explosion burns on more than 75 percent of his body. He accrued $1.5 million in medical costs after four months of burn unit hospitalization and several skin grafts and surgeries. Jacoby claims that there was no source of flame at the time of the explosion. This claim was confirmed by a fire investigator during the investigation of Jacoby’s lawsuit against the can’s manufacturer Blitz.

Gas Can Explosion Death

In 2010, 19-year-old Dylan Kornegay died after an infection resulting from third and fourth degree burns. The gas can Kornegay was holding exploded near his leg shortly after he used the can to pour gasoline to start a bonfire. The resulting burns covered more than 80 percent of his body. During his six-week stay at a burn center, Kornegay underwent 15 surgeries, including a partial leg amputation.

Defective Gas Can Lawsuits

During the past two decades, more than 80 lawsuits were filed against gas can manufacturers in the United States. These product liability lawsuits allege that the gas cans are defective in design due to the lack of a flame arrester. A flame arrester is a small piece of mesh or perforated disk designed to disrupt flame. Flame arresters are currently included in products such as metal “safety” gas cans and fuel tanks. Fuel arresters are also featured in other flammable liquid storage containers, including rum and charcoal lighter fluid.

Delay in Jeep Recall for Burn Injury Risk

On June 4, 2013, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested a recall from Chrysler for roughly 2.7 million Jeep vehicles. The recall included 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models. The recall request occurred after the NHTSA reported that 51 individuals died in fire-related incidents caused by rear-end collisions in the affected Jeep models. After reviewing data, the NHTSA determined that these deaths were caused by defective gas tank design which increased the risk of fire.

Jeep Defective Fuel Tanks

The NHTSA concluded that the position of the fuel tanks in the selected Jeep models posed an unnecessary risk of fire and subsequent burn injury and death to drivers and passengers. In the event that the Jeep models are involved in a rear-end collision, the fuel tank placement may increase the risk of fuel tank puncture and subsequent gas leakage. As a result, a fire is significantly more likely to occur.

Jeep Recall Agreement

Initially, Chrysler denied the NHTSA’s recall request. The company stated that the NHTSA reached a conclusion that involved “an incomplete analysis of the underlying data.” However, two weeks later, Chrysler agreed to reach a recall agreement. In order to resolve the issue, Chrysler agreed to install a trailer hitch in roughly 1.6 million Jeep vehicles. The Jeep models to be recalled included 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee models and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models. Chrysler stated that the trailer hitch will protect gas tanks mounted on the vehicle’s rear axle in the event of rear impact.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Models

Excluded from the initial recall request were 1999-2004 Grand Cherokee models. Instead of a recall, Chrysler agreed to conduct a service campaign on these vehicles. Non-factory trailer hitches in these vehicles are to be inspected for sharp edges. If necessary, these trailer hitches will be replaced. However, no action will be taken for these vehicles that feature no hitch or a factory hitch.

Delayed Jeep Recall

As of October 2013, Chrysler did not yet initiate the recall, despite an agreement with the NHTSA to contact the owners of the affected Jeep models. The NHTSA has not disclosed whether or not it agrees to move forward with the trailer hitch installation agreement that was reached in June. This is due to claims that a trailer hitch is not intended to protect a fuel tank, and may therefore be an inadequate solution to the issue. The NHTSA has also failed to disclose whether or not it will conduct crash testing to ensure that installation of a trailer hitch will improve the safety of the affected Jeep models. This crash testing was initially requested by the Center for Auto Safety.

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