Our client suffered second-degree burns at a bonfire after another person made him participate in an unsafe act.

The plaintiff and his girlfriend were at a bonfire where older tractor tires were being burned in the bonfire. The bonfire was held on farm property across the road from the farmhouse where the defendant resided. There was no adult supervision at the bonfire and most of the individuals attending the bonfire were high school students. The plaintiff did not consume any alcohol, but alcohol was present.

The plaintiff claimed the defendant and the defendant’s friend forced the plaintiff into a large tractor tire and then pushed the tractor tire into the fire. Once inside the tractor tire, the plaintiff could not get out, and the tractor tire tipped over in the fire. The plaintiff sustained second-degree burns to the abdomen and thigh. 

The defendants’ insurance company denied the claim arguing that the defendant did not force the plaintiff into the tractor tire, but instead voluntarily agreed to get in the tire and be pushed through the fire as at least one other person had done that night. A lawsuit was filed. Depositions from both the plaintiff and the defendant were taken. The case settled at mediation for $20,000.