Friday, October 17, 2014

Bluehour bartender burned badly when Everclear from vase ignites, seeks $688,000

Source: Aimee Green, Oregon Live
October 15, 2014

A former bartender at Bluehour in Northwest Portland's Pearl District filed a $688,000 lawsuit this week -- claiming he was burned over much of his body when a large vase containing Everclear broke next to a candle, igniting a countertop next to him.

The restaurant decided to "enhance the bar's atmosphere by placing colored Everclear, a highly flammable alcoholic liquid, in large vases at the base of the bar" and put open-flame candles next to the vases, according to the suit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court by bartender Steven Grimm.

The suit lists restaurateurs Bruce Carey and Ken Giambalvo as defendants. Carey is well known in the restaurant world. He started Bluehour, Zefiro, Saucebox and 23Hoyt with colleagues. In 2007, he acquired Clarklewis.

Giambalvo worked as chef at Bluehour for more than a decade, and left his position in 2011. But he is still a member of the limited liability company that owns Bluehour, according to the suit. Carey also is a member, the suit states.

A message seeking comment for this story -- left Tuesday with management at Bluehour -- was not returned.

On April 4, 2013, Grimm was working when he accidentally nicked one of the vases and it cracked, pouring the purple-tinted Everclear onto the counter top, the suit states.

"The spilled Everclear came in contact with the open flame candles and immediately combusted," the suit states. "Steven Grimm was immediately covered by the flaming liquid."

Grimm suffered burns to his arms, hands, torso and legs -- and his medical bills have reached $42,000 so far, according to the suit. He also was out of work for one year -- and suffered $46,000 in lost wages, the suit states.

Grimm, who is in his early 30s, returned to tending bar in April 2014 at a different restaurant.

He's seeking $600,000 for pain, permanent disfigurement despite skin-graft surgeries and physical limitations, including not being able to run as exercise because his scarred skin is too tight.

The suit faults the restaurateurs for allegedly placing the Everclear in vases that could easily be broken, placing the vases close to candles and ignoring the flammability warnings on the Everclear label.

Everclear is 95 percent alcohol by volume, and the label on the front of the bottle states: "CAUTION!! EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE" and "KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE, HEAT AND OPEN FLAME."

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident and fined the restaurant $300 in July 2013, finding that it had improperly stored a flammable liquid.

Grimm is represented by Portland attorney Philip Lebenbaum.

This photo shows two large decorative vases full of Everclear that had been tinted purple at Bluehour in 2013. An open flame candle can be seen at the base of the vases.

In the interest of science and the furthering of safety, as Monty Python says, "And now for something completely different......"

5 of the Strongest Liquors in the World

Source: Partyprobs

One of the toughest tequilas around, and packs a mean punch when drinking it. At 150 proof, this liquor will have you begging for mercy in the morning. Not to mention one of the coolest corks, which is a sombrero.

Like is says on the bottle, it is 151 proof rum (75.5% alcohol). Bacardi is very good when mixed with rum-based cocktails, and more famously for lighting shots on fire before taking them. It is the only rum sold with a stainless steel flame arrester attached on the bottle.

If you are a heavy drinker and feeling bold and want to try something new, than this is right down your alley. Banned in 1915 saying it was an addictive psychoactive drug, but by the 21st century it was legalized in many countries including the United States. It ranges from 90-148 proof (45–74% alcohol), but between that and the hallucinations, this had to make the list.

Vodka can make for either a great evening or a horrible night. At an intense 160 proof (38-50% alcohol), this is nothing to mess around with. Usually vodkas are somewhere between 76-100 proof, but the makers in New Jersey took it to another level.

Anyone who's ever been around or consumed Everclear will tell you this is the Strongest liquor. At a staggering 190 proof (95% alcohol), this can be very dangerous if not consumed and handled properly. You should never drink it straight, only to mix with drinks. It is banned in many states, and for good reasons.

Thank you for reading.


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