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Man sues teflon oven tray firm over dead parrots

The Local · 11 Jan 2013, 17:09

Published: 11 Jan 2013 17:09 GMT+01:00

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“I heard a screech and both my parrots were lying dead in their cage,” Manfred Heinz told North Rhine-Westphalian newspaper the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday.

Chicco, 16, and Coco, 12, both allegedly died when Heinz opened the oven to get out a pizza, he said.

The cause, he believes, was a new teflon-coated drip-tray which he did not realize could release fumes incredibly dangerous for birds. “I only found out afterwards on the internet,” he said.

Heinz has taken both the shop which sold him the pan and the manufacturers to a Dortmund court to sue them for €2,100 in damages, as he believes that one or both of them should have warned him about the effect on birds.

The parrots cost him €1,000 but as his lawyer told the paper, the pain he had suffered since their death was incalculable.

Whether or not the parrots died from the teflon fumes has to be proven, though and so the judge has ordered an expert opinion on how dangerous they are for birds. It does state clearly in most bird owners handbooks, however, bird cages should not be kept in a kitchen for that very reason.

This could be used against Heinz in court, in that as a bird keeper he should have realized the risks.

Story continues below…

Heinz suggested exhuming Chicco and Coco to perform definitive tests, but judge Josef Knierbein politely vetoed the idea, “let's leave the birds in peace,” he said.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:35 January 11, 2013 by raandy
Wow, that story kept me on the edge of my chair.

Heinz ,no chance, birds in the kitchen? not a good place.
18:36 January 11, 2013 by LancashireLad
The open plan layout of many German houses means that the birds did not need to be in the kitchen.

Classic case of "something's not right and I am going to blame somebody else but me". He might have a case with the manufacturers, but nobody in their right mind would expect the shop which sold him the tray to know this.
19:37 January 11, 2013 by yllusion
I'm not defending the owner of the parrots, but depending on his house, I could imagine that during the winter the kitchen is the warmest place to keep the birds in to protect them against the cold.

And come on, why do we have to breathe fumes that are able to kill birds?
20:19 January 11, 2013 by Englishted
It is not dead it is pinning for the fjords etc ,etc.
23:10 January 11, 2013 by wood artist
Option 1: Admit I'm stupid and screwed up (perhaps)

Option 2: Find a way to blame someone else and make money doing it.

I'm pretty sure he just opted for Option 2, because it's pretty obvious he's not about to admit he's...mentally deficient.

00:32 January 12, 2013 by zeddriver

Thanks for making me smile. Brilliant comedy troupe those pythons.
16:30 January 13, 2013 by raandy
I checked this out of curiosity. This guy should have checked himself , the info is not hard to find, or asked about keeping birds in the cooking area. He wants to blame others for his ignorance, your absolutely correct WA.


Bird deaths have been documented during or immediately after the following normal cooking scenarios:

New Teflon-lined Amana oven was used to bake biscuits at 325°F; all the owner¦#39;s baby parrots died [3] [4].

Four stovetop burners, underlined with Teflon-coated drip pans, were preheated in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner; 14 birds died within 15 minutes [2] [5].

Nonstick cookie sheet was placed under oven broiler to catch the drippings; 107 chicks died [2].

Self-cleaning feature on the oven was used; a $2,000 bird died [5].

Set of Teflon pans, including egg poaching pan, were attributed to seven bird deaths over seven years [6].

Water burned off a hot pan; more than 55 birds died [7].

Electric skillet at 300°F and space heater were used simultaneously; pet bird died [8].

Toaster oven with a non-stick coating was used to prepare food at a normal temperature; bird survived but suffered respiratory distress [9].

Water being heated for hot cocoa boiled off completely; pet bird died [10].

Grill plate on gas stove used to prepare food at normal temperatures; two birds died on two separate occasions [11].
10:09 January 14, 2013 by mitanni
Bird owners should, of course, know about this. There are tons of things in the house that are harmless to humans but can kill various pets.

But I doubt it was the Teflon. PTFE toxicosis requires decomposition, and that requires temperatures above 530F
12:36 January 15, 2013 by aruntutu
I thought frivolous cases were a American home-grown concept... Seems like it is spreading its wings all over... True, there might have been fumes given out, true they (may) not have been too healthy to inhale, but things like "he pain he had suffered since their death was incalculable.".... I mean talk about drama... They need to call the guys in Mumbai for a shot at the story of a lifetime in Bollywood, drama and all... I don't think he'll cut in Hollywood...

His stupidity and he thinks he should milk off others... Shameless to say the least..
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