French manufacturing co. sued by man who suffered blindness due to product defect

By Jon Campisi | Dec 31, 2013

An Arkansas man is suing a French manufacturing company in U.S.

District Court in eastern Pennsylvania over allegations that a defective product made by the defendant caused his permanent blindness.

David Loos claims that he was seriously injured on Dec. 28, 2011, while using an air-powered cutting tool that had a Norton Cut-Off Wheel manufactured by defendant Norton Saint-Gobain, which has its American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pa.

At the time, Loos was cutting a metal fuel line that had been removed from a truck when the cut-off wheel shattered and broke apart, sending a piece of the wheel flying into the plaintiff’s face, striking his safety goggles, and impaling his facial bones, right eye and skull, according to the complaint.

The defendant, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, which does business as Norton Saint-Gobain and Norton Abrasives, is accused of negligence for designing and manufacturing a defective product, failing to properly inspect the device for defects, and failing to remove the defective product from the stream of commerce.

“The Defendants were careless and negligent in manufacturing, advertising, labeling, and selling the product (either directly or indirectly with full knowledge), and for failing to adequately warn of the dangers associated with its use, so as to proximately cause Plaintiff’s injuries,” the lawsuit states.

Loos’ injuries included the loss of vision, deformity, scarring and both physical and mental pain.

The complaint also contains a count of strict product liability in which it is alleged that the defendant’s product was defective at the time it was sold, and because of the defect it was unreasonably dangerous to a consumer such as the plaintiff who uses or might be “reasonably expected to be affected by said product.”

Loos never made any modifications to the defendants’ product before he used it two years ago, the complaint says.

The defendant, the suit asserts, failed to properly warn consumers of the product’s “dangerous characteristics.”

Loos seeks more than $150,000 in compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages, interest, costs and other legal relief.

He is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Richard P. Myers of the firm Paul, Reich & Myers.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-07588-LFR.

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