Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Oklahoma Gas Can Maker Making a Comeback

bitzcelt / flickr

Blitz USA was the largest manufacturer of portable gas cans in the country.

But after multiple product liability lawsuits, the Miami, Okla.-based company closed its doors on July 31 and laid off more than 100 workers. Company officials said they could no longer afford product liability insurance.

But the manufacturing plant will reopen, and 80 jobs will return to northeastern Oklahoma, the Tulsa World‘s Sheila Stogsdill reports:

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., approved a $9.5 million offer from Toronto-based Scepter to purchase Blitz USA, said Philip Monckton, vice president of sales and marketing. Scepter bought the land, equipment and other assets, he said.

In July, Blitz faced 42 lawsuits — most filed by the same three attorneys — Marketplace’s Sally Heships reported over the summer:

Consumers have accused the company of making faulty cans that explode when used to pour gasoline onto fires.

Winning such lawsuits often offers little financial vindication for companies. Blitz won one lawsuit in Texas — at a cost of about $2.5 million, Marketplace reported.


StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Comments

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education