Pennsylvania Record

Friday, February 28, 2020

Pa. woman burned by Jarden heating pad files products liability claim against manufacturer

By Jon Campisi | Dec 3, 2013

Derek r. layser

A Philadelphia attorney who is representing a Florida manufacturer

embroiled in litigation with a south-central Pennsylvania woman over injuries she allegedly sustained from a faulty heating pad has filed a transfer notice seeking to move the case over to federal court.

Lawyer James H. Heller filed a removal petition on behalf of clients Jarden Consumer Solutions and Jarden Corp. Nov. 27 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The underlying litigation was initiated in late September at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Derek R. Layser, of the firm Layser & Freiwald, on behalf of Cassandra Bowman, who lives in Chambersburg, Franklin County.

The plaintiff claims that the defendants negligently manufactured and sold a defective heating pad that caught fire and caused the woman to sustain severe personal injuries.

In her lawsuit, Bowman says that in the early morning hours of March 13, 2011, she awoke to flames under her back.

The woman had placed the Sunbeam heating pad on her as she was going to sleep, the suit states.

The complaint alleges that the heating pad had become hot and caused the bed covers to catch fire.

The device also caused a fire to burn through the mattress and three comforters that were on the plaintiff’s bed at the time.

Bowman ended up sustaining second-degree burns on her hands and first-degree burns on her back, the suit says.

The plaintiff says she developed permanent scarring as a result of the incident.

The lawsuit alleges that the automatic shutoff feature on the product failed to operate during the March 2011 incident.

“Cassandra’s injuries continue to this day and the effects of [her] injuries are permanent,” the complaint reads.

The lawsuit contains counts of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.

The defendants are accused of designing, manufacturing and selling a defective heating pad with an inadequate automatic shutoff function, and failing to recall the product after its dangerous nature became known.

In her suit, Bowman says she is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, exclusive of interest and costs.

Heller, the defense attorney, contends that the matter is removable to federal court as per the rules of civil procedure because of diversity in citizenship.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-06904-WY and the state case ID number is 13030110. 

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