Jim Boyle Dec. 23, 2014, 5:06pm


A Northampton County woman has filed a product liability suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the makers of a laundry detergent pod that allegedly burst and caused a chemical burn on one of her breasts.

Jennifer Dotel, of Northampton, Pa., seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages from Ohio-based Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Company, the makers of the Tide Pods used for washing machines. The suit says the faulty design of the pods were a direct cause to painful injuries the plaintiff sustained while preparing her laundry.

According to the suit, Dotel purchased a container of the Tide Pods at a nearby Dollar General store on Oct. 21, 2014. A week later, Dotel was loading the washing machine when she opened the container and attempted to pull one of the pods. The suit says that several pods had adhered together, forcing Dotel to pull them away from each other. As she separated the products, one of the pods ruptured and squirted the liquid onto Dotel, who was wearing only a bra with no shirt or blouse.

The complaint says the liquid shot out of the pod like a squirt gun, hitting her left chest and causing a chemical burn that scarred the skin. According to the claim, Dotel will need plastic surgery to achieve a full recovery.

The claim says that Proctor & Gamble holds a strict liability for Dotel's injuries by creating and distributing a defective product that could cause serious harm to a user. According to the complaint, the defendants failed to perform necessary inspections of the pods and use basic quality control methods to ensure the safety of their customers.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Richard Orloski of the Orloski Law Firm in Allentown, Pa.

The federal case ID is 5:14-cv-07220-JLS.

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