Exercising is supposed to improve your health. However for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Las Vegas), the current Senate minority leader, it resulted in serious injury that has caused him to lose sight in one eye, altered the dynamic of his marriage and played a role in ending his longstanding, prominent political career.
In a lawsuit recently filed in a Nevada county district court, Reid alleges that a resistance exercise band, produced by a Northeast Ohio company, was defectively designed, resulting in his injury.
The product, known as a TheraBand, had been reportedly mounted to a sturdy object in a bathroom of Reid’s Nevada home. On Jan. 1, 2015, Reid was using the band when it either broke or slipped out of his hand, causing him to spin around and slam his face on a cabinet. Blood started to pool around his eye, and the 75-year-old reported he was in immediate and enormous pain.
Upon receiving treatment, it was revealed he had lost vision in his right eye, suffered a concussion, broke orbital bones, hand injuries, facial lacerations, scarring, broken ribs and severe disfigurement. He’s been seen in recent months publicly wearing an eye patch or sunglasses.
The lawsuit, Reid v. Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co. et al., asserts defendants were negligent and failed to warn. Specifically, the complaint alleged defendants failed to warn users who are elderly or who suffer extensive damage to their hands and feet of the heightened risk of danger that could result from using the product.
Reid alleges the band is unreasonably dangerous, his personal injuries were foreseeable, and the company had constructive knowledge that the product could break or slip out of consumers’ hands when mounted to a sturdy object. Constructive knowledge means the company “should have known” based on the available facts. (This is as opposed to “actual knowledge,” in which there is evidence defendant did know or was told of the danger.)
Reid is seeking not only compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, but also punitive damages. He asserts defendants knew their product was harmful and willfully failed to act to protect consumers.
It seems Reid was initially hopeful after suffering the injury. He underwent surgery, indicated he had a small amount of vision in the injured eye (which he hoped would improve) and that he planned to run for another term in the Senate. However, it later became clear his vision was not improving, and he opted not to run for another term. His retirement after a fifth term in the Senate will round out 30 years of public service.
Companies have a duty to ensure the products they release onto the market for public use will be reasonably safe when used as intended.
Exercise resistance bands have gained popularity in recent years, particularly in use with physical therapy. But there have also been a number of reported injuries sustained by users too. If a band is placed onto a non-secure anchor, injury might occur. However, a defective resistant band could potentially break without warning, causing serious injury to the user.
Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Senator Harry Reid Sues Exercise Band Company Over His Injuries, Oct. 7, 2015, Associated Press
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Study: Correlation Between Product Safety and CEO Stock Options, Sept. 30, 2015, Rock Hill Injury Lawyer Blog