Products Liability for sauna door shattering, causing serious injury?
April 4, 2016
I purchased an infrared sauna from a sauna company. They design and manufacture the materials but Ikea style they deliver it in pieces. They do recommend people to put the sauna together, and I hired one. The sauna is made of wood but the door is a giant, extremely heavy piece of glass. A month or so later I was opening the door to enter the sauna and the door slipped off the hinges, shattering into a million pieces on the floor. My hand and foot were seriously injured, such that I now have permanent nerve damage to my foot. I'm a dancer and this is impacting my career. Looking at the design of the sauna in hindsight, the door was only secured by two flimsy hinges. According to the company this has happened before but it's been due to people slamming the door. I've tried to talk with them about some kind of settlement, at least to cover my medical bills, but they don't seem to have insurance. They're claiming that because they didn't put the sauna together they're not liable. I attended a few semesters of law school so I know the basics of tort law. Under products liability, wouldn't this be a manufacturer's defect? I appreciate any and all feedback.
Take photographs. Whether is was 'design defect' (which will need an engineer's opinion) or negligent installation by the third party contractor, you probably won't get them to do anything without filing suit. I wonder if there is any paperwork with an arbitration clause or limitation on where you can file suit. You need to see a lawyer about this. The company will assume you're not serious unless they see something "official". Good luck.
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