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Fireworks Injuries Lead to Lawsuit

Nashua — Two people injured in a massive fireworks explosion in Pelham last year are suing the owners of the home where the accident happened.

Patrick and Marci Foy, of Pelham, filed a civil suit in Hillsborough County Superior Court against Christopher and Jeanne Pappathan, of Pelham. The Foys and their young daughter, Olivia, were wounded in the explosion on the back porch of the Pappathan’s 40 Dodge Road home on July 4, 2012. They are asking for an unspecified amount of money to compensate them for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, medical bills and expenses, according to the suit.

The Foys participated in a safety video this spring that warned of the dangers of fireworks.

Patrick Foy was holding Olivia on the rear deck to watch the fireworks display when a firework landed on a pallet-size pile of unwrapped fireworks stacked in a corner of the deck, according to the suit.

Patrick Foy had time to dive down the deck stairs but was “engulfed in white fire” and landed in the backyard. Marci Foy ran after her husband and daughter and her flip-flops were “blasted right off her feet.

“Total chaos ensued with screaming and crying as massive injuries were caused to many people at the scene,” according to the suit.

All three Foys suffered extensive burns, some of which required skin grafts, according to their attorney, David Gottesman.

The suit claims the Foys acted at all times in a safe and responsible way and that the Pappathons failed to exercise “reasonable care to maintain their premises in a safe condition.”

“The plaintiffs suffered painful physical injuries to their bodies and minds when impacted by the explosive debris that emanated from the ignited stockpiled fireworks, and have suffered devastating burns to their bodies, causing the need for extensive medical care and treatment ... ,” according to the suit.

In all, 13 people, including five children, suffered varying degrees of injury from either the exploding fireworks or resulting fire. The two children most seriously hurt were Ben Bertini, then 18 months old and Tyler Burnelle,

Ben and Tyler’s injuries were severe enough that they were airlifted to Shriners Hospital in Boston. While Tyler, who suffered burns to his arms and legs, was released the next afternoon, doctors placed Ben in a medically induced coma shortly after his arrival, according to family members.

Chris Pappathan’s injuries also have long-term ramifications, family members have said.

“The Foy family was devastated by this terrible event,” Gottesman said Wednesday. “They are only seeking fair compensation for the injuries that they and their child suffered.”

Jeanne Pappathan declined to comment for this story.