The family of a five-year-old girl from Ottawa in Canada who was badly burnt after playing with a lighter are reportedly considering taking legal action against Wal-Mart, alleging that the T-shirt she was wearing was far too flammable.
According to the family, 5-year-old Alia McTiernan was playing with her siblings when they found a lighter and started playing with it. Other relatives then heard screams, and discovered that Alia had accidentally set herself on fire. Her injuries as a result of this incident were so severe that she will now need to undergo years of surgeries and skin grafts to repair the damage done to her skin.
The family is now alleging that the design on the front of Alia’s T-shirt, which was bought at Wal-Mart, accelerated the flames and caused the fire to spread far more quickly. In a letter to the company, the family wrote:
“This tragedy will have repercussions and expenses for years to come, and as you are aware, could adversely affect the reputation of your company. Of course, the thought of compensation has arisen; we are interested to know if your company has considered this and the possibility of so doing as an out-of-court settlement thus avoiding massive exposure and legal expenses.”
Wal-Mart has so far refused to accept this offer, but it may need to rely on its public liability insurance if the case goes to court.