The family of a Comanche man killed when a trailer loaded with fireworks suddenly exploded while he was preparing for a Fourth of July fireworks show are suing the Fort Worth fireworks distributor and the Chinese manufacturers for more than $1 million.
Russell Reynolds was killed and three others injured in the 2014 blast. Reynolds was preparing the fireworks for the show when there was an “early, unexpected ignition” which lead to “subsequent ignitions, explosions and fire,” the lawsuit states.
Reynolds’ wife Sherry and her two children are suing Pyro Shows of Texas and six Chinese companies involved in designing, manufacturing, selling and packing the fireworks for sale. The lawsuit was filed in Tarrant County civil court Tuesday afternoon.
Officials at Pyro Shows of Texas and the Reynolds family attorney did not return phone calls from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.
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There was an early, unexpected ignition of the fireworks which led to subsequent ignitions, explosions and fire.
Lawsuit filed by Reynolds family in Tarrant County court
Reynolds, a licensed pyrotechnician and Comanche’s only chiropractor at the time, was working with the fireworks on the morning of July 3 for the annual July 4 show he started in the 1990s. He was the former president of the Comanche Kiwanis Club, which puts on the show.
Comanche is a town of 4,300 about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth. When the trailer exploded, it was parked near a baseball field next to the town’s high school. Prior to the fatal incident, the Kiwanis Club had not had any other accidents.
Since the fireworks Reynolds was working with were in the same condition as when they were purchased from Pyro Shows of Texas, the lawsuit contends they were defectively designed and sold without proper safety mechanisms or warnings.
The Chinese companies named in the lawsuit are Czech International Trading Limited; Jiangxi Lidu Fireworks Group Co.; Jiangxi Province Lidu Fireworks Corp.; Icon Pyrotechnic International Co.; Oriental Fireworks Co.; and Glorious Company.