$425,000 Settlement in Products Liability Action Against Sellers of Bath Bench

The plaintiff was an elderly male with a preexisting neuropathy to both feet. He purchased a folding bath bench from a local retailer to assist with bathing . The bath bench was manufactured in China. Approximately three months after the purchase the plaintiff was sitting on the bath bench during a routine shower when it suddenly collapsed without warning. There was no history of improper assembly, abuse, or misuse . As a result of the collapse the plaintiff struck the back of his head on the shower tile wall and sustained a subdural hematoma. The hematoma subsequently worsened requiring a craniotomy with multiple follow up medical visits . Ultimately the plaintiff recovered with minor residuals from the fall. The plaintiff filed suit against the sellers of the bath bench alleging traditional state law tort claims. The defendants denied liability and raised comparative negligence as the primary defense alleging the plaintiff failed to use due care when sitting on the bath bench which overloaded its suspension mechanisms. The plaintiff denied this allegation . The case settled for $425,000 prior to trial.