This writer was injured in a fire April 14, 2003. Ordinarily, a personal matter would not have been posted in this publication. In the interest of public safety, however, readers do need to be immediately informed of a poorly-designed defective Coleman gasoline stove directly responsible for the catastrophe. To date, this issue has not been legally resolved. Consequently, the last letter to this irresponsible corporation will be the only material posted at this time. Should any additional correspondence be received from Coleman in response to this posting, however, it will be published in its entirety.
Liberty In Peril
S. Kennedy, Dept. 908
The Coleman Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 2931
Wichita, Kansas 67201
Re: March 17, 2004 Letter-April 14, 2003 Fire
March 22, 2004
Dear Ms. Kennedy:
In response to your recent untimely letter, be advised counsel will be sought and suit filed. Certainly, realistically expected no quick or easy settlement. Just stonewalling. Especially gratified, however, you saw fit to generously provide Coleman's legal strategy. Deeply grateful.
Your arguments based nearly entirely on stove decals can, and will, be easily refuted in court. Your brazen distortion of statements made in earlier claim correspondence is equally amusing, unsurprising, and sadly expected of the legal profession. … A profession that wouldn't know truth if bitten hard on the gluteus maximus.
Example? This writer rightfully claimed he found "nothing wrong" with the "generator assembly" upon disassembly. This is so because it had been recently cleaned before the fire. Doesn't mean, however, there is no design defect in a generator that requires nearly constant cleaning to safely operate.
Also, does not mean there is nothing wrong with the valve that is part of the generator assembly. An engineer certainly needs to examine it since flames shot up some two and a half feet above the burner after the valve was closed at the time of the fire. Also, there are constant problems with unloosening valve nuts on this product and every other Coleman stove I've ever owned. -- But you already knew that, didn't you?
Amazingly, but not surprisingly, you callously made the decision to deny liability based on nothing more than a claim. Amusingly, it is the only "evidence" conveniently considered. Furthermore and most interestingly, you made no effort to secure examination of the stove by your engineers, -- although access was immediately offered. … Do you really foolishly underestimate existent serious problems with this product? Is Coleman that Aryan arrogant and aggressively stupid? Or was there no need since you are already aware of these product defects? … And have been for quite some time.
Worse, you conveniently and cowardly failed to address the most critical and dangerous design flaw of this product and earlier ones, -- no automatic fuel shut-off in the event of inadvertent unattended quenching of flame by boil-over. Decals are sorely insufficient and no solution to this glaring uncorrected problem. A dangerous defect, Coleman has been aware of for years, and neglected to solve with costly re-engineering and proper improvement.
It is only due to more than thirty years of experience using Coleman appliances with such an egregious design flaw, that amount of damage and injury was not worse than it was, -- or had not occurred years earlier. Mistakenly and foolishly assumed the product could be safely used, however, despite the design flaw and no smell of raw fuel before the fire. Big, big mistake.
Amusingly, despite weeks to examine all claim correspondence, you outrageously neglected to carefully read it. One example most comical among several? -- Had you done so, you certainly would have known the recreational vehicle was a motorhome, not a "travel trailer." … Can only suspect, with such inattention to detail over this and other issues in the claim, what your true motive and that of your cohorts was, and is. Certainly, not product safety, or concern for an injured consumer. Clearly and amusingly, covering the collective Coleman gluteus maximus is Job 1, no?
Interestingly, you disingenuously minimized total losses by conveniently only referring to those losses for which there are receipts that survived the fire. Conveniently, not the rest of the losses, or pain and suffering. … Or untreated ongoing related medical problems. … Or the fact only $38.16 of the entire medical expenses submitted in the claim was billed by the Brooke Burn Center.
… As indicated in the claim you clearly did not carefully examine, most of the medical expenses were assessed by Baptist Air Life and Llano Memorial Hospital, not Brooke as mistakenly stated by you in your letter. In fact, there is approximately an additional $20,000 that should have been billed by Brooke but was not, -- due apparently to the fact this writer had been deliberately and falsely billed as a veteran.
… A fact, that had been brought to their attention by this writer. -- False action, hospital officials apparently took in an apparent effort to appease complaints of exceptionally poor treatment by Brooke physicians, -- due to the fact there was no insurance and no way the hospital would, or could, receive timely payment. Can only imagine this false action will eventually be caught during audit and subsequently billed. Respectfully, wake up, madam. Your inattention to detail is strikingly glaring for someone in the legal profession. … Or was that your intention, and that of your cohorts?
-- Ever been injured in a fire, Ms. Kennedy? Know what it's like to be burned on the face, hands, and arms? Certainly, hope not. Mighty generous of you and Coleman though, to ignore and dismiss the true extent of the disaster, isn't it?
Sarcasm aside and while certainly now looking forward to my day in court, it is highly unlikely justice will be done in our kangaroo court system. -- Sadly, the best money can buy. Grossly anti-consumer, despite phony claims to the contrary by corporate shills in the Extreme Right, Republican Party, and Bush "Administration." … Not that the Democrats are any better. Regardless, your corporation will be exposed for the uncaring, contemptible, glaringly unresponsive, grossly irresponsible company it apparently truly is.
If not in court, then certainly on the Liberty In Peril website when health and personal circumstances allow. Will certainly immediately inform and ask Coleman for a response at that time. Truly hope your corporation decides to sue. Without doubt, would foolishly provide badly-needed and useful additional exposure of the truth to a gullible and ill-informed public. A corporation, to date, that refuses to take any responsibility for a defective and dangerous product. Can only wonder how many others have been needlessly injured, -- or worse. Doesn't matter to Coleman, does it?
After all, nothing comes before the bottom line, right? Remarkably short-sighted, though, since extremely negative but truthful publicity does far more damage to corporate image and profitability in the long run. -- Then again, don't confuse aggressively stupid, greedy management with the truth, no? … Regardless, with no assets, I'm certainly conveniently "judgment proof" in the event your legal goons are successful in distorting reality and/or bamboozling a corrupt "judge" or inept jury.
… If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS, no? Whatever it takes, right? After all, for corporations and the legal profession, the ends justify the means, don't they? … Exceptionally few criminal consequences for those in the highest echelons of power anyway, -- as demonstrated by government failure to quickly and aggressively prosecute Enron's "finest."
Additionally, would be extremely difficult and expensive, moreover, for Coleman to legally shut down Liberty In Peril websites each time they appear on a server in a new jurisdiction or country, wouldn't it? Would certainly facilitate exposure of Coleman as the corporate bully it truly is, and rightfully would be considered to be, under such circumstances.
Regardless, more than willing to rot in jail for contempt if necessary should your legal goons successfully "bribe" or manipulate a "judge" to shut down the website. -- Truly small price to pay for exposing the truth and defending the First Amendment. Would also conveniently provide follow-up medical care at expense of the taxpayers, not Coleman, right? Certainly, in your best interests, isn't it?
Hardball? You bet. Looking forward to it. Will certainly re-energize and facilitate recovery of this writer, especially in view of the fact Coleman refuses to take any responsibility. None. Absolutely, none. Imagine that. Who'd 'a 'thunk' it, no? Clearly, responsibility is reserved for the unwashed masses, not exceptionally avaricious corporations and management. Time for change.
Finally, thanks for the fodder. Be sure to foolishly send some more. … Sadly, you're making it way too easy. Certainly, expected a far better and more imaginative and vigorous defense from such a well-endowed, corpulent, and apparently hopelessly greedy giant. … Then again, there is no defense to the indefensible, is there?
Liberty In Peril
Formerly, The Llano Ledger
P.O. Box 997
Buchanan Dam, Texas 78609
1)Bill Phillips, President
& CEO, The Coleman Co., Inc.
2)Liberty In Peril
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Tim Chorney, Publisher
P.O. Box 997
Buchanan Dam, Tx. 78609