This excerpt taken from the VLG 10-K filed Sep 28, 2006.
Our business is subject to product liability claims, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Propane is, and many of the other industrial gases we sell are, extremely flammable, explosive products. Serious personal injury, property damage or loss of life can result from improper transportation, storage, production or use of these products. Further, the industrial products we sell often contain or produce toxic substances that may cause injury or damage if improperly formulated or used. For example, some of our competitors have been found liable for alleged injuries and diseases from exposure to asbestos in welding rods and we have been named in suits alleging damages for exposure to both asbestos and manganese fumes from welding rods. Our business entails an inherent risk of liability in the event of product failure or damages resulting from the use of our products and we, therefore, maintain product liability insurance against any such claims in amounts we believe to be adequate. Although we have never been subject to significant liability for product-related issues and believe our liability as a product distributor may be more limited than the liability of manufacturers of such products, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to a significant claim in the future, that we will be able to successfully defend claims, or that if we were to be found liable on a claim, it would not exceed the limits of our insurance coverage. Furthermore, we can not be certain that we will be able to continue to obtain liability insurance on acceptable terms.