On Monday a trial starts against Coleman that alleges the corporation made and sold a defective product that severely burned an 11-year-old boy.

In 2005 Trevor Dennis was camping with his family when a Coleman heater malfunctioned and set the camper on fire. The family alleges that their heater was not safe for indoor use, a claim that Coleman disputes. The lawsuit says that Coleman knew that the heater was faulty due to previous warranty claims and complaints, and that Coleman knew of other fires caused by the unit.

“In spite of this knowledge, Coleman still manufactured and sold the propane heater, putting profits ahead of people,”

said plaintiff’s lawyer John Bisnar.

A jury will make the final decision on Monday as to the truth of the allegations.

This brings up another point that I would like to address and that is corporate personhood. According to US law, a corporation has human rights just like you and me. It is a rather odd concept that gives corporations much more power than they deserve to have. It has also led to numerous incidences of corporations putting profits before people and sometimes putting out a product that the corporation knows will kill some people. A prime example is Ford Motor Company and the Pinto.

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