Napa Home & Garden, expecting “huge litigation expenses and massive customer returns” related to its formerly popular patio fire pots, has filed Chapter 11, Wall Street Journal reports. The bankruptcy automatically halts ongoing lawsuits and prevents new ones without court permission, the paper says.
News outlets from around the country ran stories detailing horrific burn injuries resulting from when Napa’s fuel gel exploded onto those nearby when it was poored on still hot or lit fire pots. Since the fuel is a gel, it clung to those it hit and remained on fire.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a nationwide recall of Napa’s NAPAfire and FIREGEL Gel Fuel line of products. The Commission estimates that Napa distributed 460,000 gel packs since late 2009.
Wall Street Journal further reports that Napa’s filing on Tuesday reveals the company plans to sell itself through a court-supervised auction, which already has a bid of $1.1 million from Teters Floral Products of Missouri. Existing and future lawsuits would continue against what remains of Napa once the sale closes, the paper says.