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The American Museum of Tort Law is Open to the Public

Posted on October 21, 2015 In The News

The American Museum of Tort Law, which was developed by Ralph Nader, opened to the public in Winsted, Connecticut, on September 26, 2015. This unique museum focuses on the civil justice system and the evolution of tort law, which is the area of civil law dealing with personal injury actions.

This museum seeks to increase citizen understanding of tort law and the role it plays in protecting personal freedom, health and safety. There is even a dangerous toy room, displaying dangerous toys such as exploding chemistry sets, toys painted with lead paint, and a doll with little eyes that fall out. Also, there are glossy panels depicting many unfortunate cases leading to influential tort results.

The museum provides information about well-known cases that made a significant difference to tort law. For example, the Ford Pinto became infamous in the 1970s for bursting into flames. More than 100 lawsuits were filed due to design flaws in the Pinto that resulted in fuel tank fires. These important cases sent a message to automakers that ignoring safety consideration would have financial costs. Not surprisingly, Ford stopped including the advertising line: “Pinto leaves you with that warm feeling.”

A less well known case featured at the museum is the Flaming Rat Case. In that case, an employee was cleaning his employer’s machinery with gasoline. After the gasoline leaked through the machine, a rat was soaked with gasoline. The rat ran for cover under a gas heater where it was unfortunately set on fire. It then ran back towards the employee, resulting in an explosion that killed the 19-year-old employee. The employer was held responsible for the tragic and preventable death of its employee. This case, along with many others, resulted in more personal safety in the workplace.

Bye, Goff & Rohde, your Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers, invite you to visit the American Museum of Tort Law website at http://www.tortmuseum.org, or the museum’s Facebook page.