Companies Sue Over Mich. Fireworks Insurance

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Several fireworks companies are suing over what they call Michigan’s excessive insurance requirements under a new state law.

The companies sued Wednesday in Detroit federal court seeking to overturn a requirement to obtain $10 million in liability insurance in order to sell an expanded line of fireworks.

A state law that took effect this year allows the sale of more powerful explosives, such as firecrackers and some consumer-grade devices that shoot into the air, such as bottle rockets and Roman candles. The bills overwhelmingly passed the state Legislature despite some safety concerns.

The companies suing the state say the insurance provision is unconstitutional and favors larger companies that can afford the coverage, giving them an unfair advantage in the market.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder says the insurance level was appropriate given safety priorities with the expanded fireworks availability.

Consumers purchasing the fireworks are also required to pay a six-percent “fireworks safety fee” in addition to Michigan’s regular six percent sales tax.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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