Burn Victim Lawsuit

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, April 16 2013 at 5:01 PM, Updated: Tue, April 16 2013 at 5:11 PM

The father of a Klamath Falls girl who suffered severe burns in a freak accident involving hand sanitizer at a Portland hospital says he's taking legal action...and that a lawsuit will soon be filed against the hospital, and the maker of the hand sanitizer.

Stephen Lane says the lawsuit isn't about punishing the hospital...

"It's not about getting a bunch of money, it's about making sure that Ireland's taken care of - that she doesn't need, or want for anything in the future."

12 year old Ireland Lane suffered burns to 20% of her body when sanitizer on her t-shirt caught fire in early February at a Portland hospital.

"She had been rubbing her hands on the sheets, and making shocks, and stuff like that."  Recalled Stephen Lane.  "We just didn't know that static could light hand sanitizer."

Lane says more warnings need to be included on alcohol-based sanitizers...that's why he's planning to sue 3M, who made the sanitizer which caught fire on Ireland...

"There needs to be some kind of change so this doesn't happen to another kid."

Lane believes the hospital also shares in the responsibility...

"If I was responsible for somebody's child, then it would be my responsibility to take care of what happened to that child."

Ireland is back at school in Klamath Falls now, and says she wants to be a chef someday...

"Because of all the medical things I went through, I don't want to be a doctor."

And Stephen Lane hopes he can make his daughter's dreams a reality...

"My only motivation is to make sure Ireland has all the care she needs, now and in the future."

The lawsuit is being handled by Portland attorney Patrick Angel.  No dollar amount of damages has yet been made.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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