A London, Ont.-area man has been awarded $1.15 million in a lawsuit against the makers of Visions glass cookware after losing use of his right hand in an incident in which a pot exploded.

It was the first successful North American lawsuit against the makers of the glass cookware, Corning Incorporated and World Kitchen Inc., according to Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC.

"This is a case that raises real safety concerns," Smitiuch said. "We believe consumers in Canada, the U.S. and Europe should be aware of the risks associated with this brand of cookware."

Visions glass cookware can present a hazard if banged or dropped, but the manufacturers have not taken steps to warn consumers, he said.

On Sept. 11, 2000, Stilwell, 56, a married father of two from Beachville, Ont., was rinsing a Visions glass Dutch Oven when it suddenly exploded into four sharp pieces.

Stilwell lost the use of his right hand, after his nerves, tendon and artery were severed, causing permanent damage.

A London jury awarded Stilwell $1.15 million in damages on June 12, finding that the makers of Visions glass cookware, World Kitchen Inc., and Corning Incorporated, were negligent by not including warning labels with  the glass cookware products.

The decision is being appealed.

Smitiuch said there have been more than 2,000 reported incidents since 1983 in Canada and the U.S., in which consumers were injured when their Visions glass cookware shattered.