PHILADELPHIA – A married couple's lawsuit alleges injuries stemming from a sudden break in an office chair.
Gwendolyn Walker and Charles Huckstep filed the suit March 29 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Office Depot Inc. and Swinton Avenue Trading Ltd. Inc.
The suit says Walker was at her second job on April 20, 2014, working at the front desk of the Days Inn in Wyomissing and sitting on a chair designed, assembled, sold and distributed by the defendants.
Without warning, the seat of the chair broke from the stem and the plaintiff fell backwards onto the floor, slamming the back of her head on a nearby door frame, according to the complaint.
A few weeks later, on May 22, 2014, the defendants issued a recall of nearly 1.4 million chairs for the dangerous defect the plaintiff experienced, according to the suit, which alleges that the defendants knew about the defect prior to the recall.
The injuries to the plaintiff included a herniated disk that required surgery, a contusion to the back of her head, aches, pains and bruises, the suit says. She is receiving ongoing medical treatment, for which she has to pay, and has lost wages because of her inability to work, according to the complaint.
Under the counts of strict liability and negligence, the plaintiff seeks from both defendants an excess of $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, costs, attorney fees and delay damages. Her husband, defendant Huckstep, is suing for loss of consortium of his wife and seeks the same judgment.
They also demand a jury trial.
They are represented by Larry Bendesky, J.B. Dilsheimer and Robert W. Zimmerman of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky PC in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case number 16-cv-01434