New Jersey Teen Sues Over Fireworks Accident Leading to Blindness

New Jersey Teen Sues Over Fireworks Accident Leading to BlindnessA New Jersey teenager whose friend had bought fireworks in a "border store" in Pennsylvania has sued the outlet after an accident caused him to become blind in one eye.

The 19-year-old Thomas Eldershaw says he sustained the injury when he lit a fuse on a firework, but the aerial shell misfired, sending a projectile into his face that burned and partially blinded him, according to the Times of Trenton.

The personal injury lawsuit seeks damages from the store, the fireworks' manufacturer and Eldershaw's friend, who crossed state lines to buy the fireworks. According to his personal injury attorney, retailer Sky King Fireworks is located in Pennsylvania, yet the store negligently solicits New Jersey consumers despite a state ban and without disclosing the explosives' illegality.

The District of Columbia and 46 states have legalized at least some form of fireworks, said Julie L. Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firework-related injury, like their use, mostly occurs around the Fourth of July. More than two-thirds of firework-related injuries in 2008 occurred between June 20 and July 20. In that period, there were 1,000 firework-caused eye injuries.