Suit highlights, but doesn’t challenge Pa.’s fireworks law

A New Jersey man is suing a neighbor, and a Pennsylvania fireworks retailer, after being injured by a mortar-style device.  Pennsylvania law bars stores from selling most fireworks to Pennsylvania residents without a permit, but they can sell to out-of-state customers.  July 4th, 2010 was supposed to be a day of celebration.  But lawyer Steven Blader said for his client Thomas Eldershaw, it was a disaster, because Eldershaw’s neighbor bought fireworks in Pennsylvania and then illegally brought them back to New Jersey.”He set-up a display for neighbors and asked Thomas Eldershaw to participate in the lighting of the fireworks,” Blader said.  “Thomas Eldershaw didn’t know that one of the mortars that he lit did not go off.  And when Thomas Eldershaw went back to drop another shell into the mortar-holder, that mortar went off in his face and caused severe burns to his face and the loss of his eye.”Stores like the one in Morrisville, Bucks County that supplied the fireworks are common in towns along the Delaware River.  Blader said the suit only seeks money, but he hopes it might spark changes to Pennsylvania’s fireworks laws.  He said the current law shows the power of the fireworks lobby. 

Blader [BLEY-der]

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