By Debby Woodin
From staff reports
MIAMI, Okla. —
Blitz USA, a gasoline-container manufacturing company that has operated for 46 years in Miami, Okla., will close on July 31, a company spokeswoman said today.
The company employs 117 people.
Amanda Emerson, external affairs manager for Blitz USA, said the company is facing numerous lawsuits with regard to its portable fuel containers.
Blitz USA, which manufactures 75 percent of the portable gas cans sold in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November because of the litigation it faces. Emerson said the company at that time faced 42 lawsuits.
“The lawsuits have involved adult individuals who have used gasoline to start a fire or accelerate a fire,’’ she said.
The company, she said, had hoped the Chapter 11 bankruptcy would help it find a solution for its litigation and insurance costs.
The company and others in the industry have been lobbying Congress to create regulations that would govern product liability with regard to portable fuel containers. Those efforts, she said, will come too late to help Blitz USA.
When Blitz USA/F3 Brands filed for bankruptcy, the company had 300 employees. On April 3, F3 Brands was purchased by Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation, Emporia, Kan. F3 Brands employs about 120 employees at its Miami plant.