An Illinois woman has recently filed suit against Ohio-based vacuum manufacturer The Kirby Company for $200,000, reports the Chicago Sun-Times, alleging her defective vacuum cleaner broke during use and sucked the hair out of her scalp.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Illinois on April 23, reportedly sets forth that the vacuum was “defective and unreasonably dangerous” and that Kirby sold the vacuum without adequate testing and without proper warnings of the hazards of personal injuries. The plaintiff’s Chicago-area lawyer, Thomas A. Reed, to whom the plaintiff referred all questions, has told the media that his client was using the vacuum hose to clean underneath her bed when the attachment broke, “causing a tremendous sucking that took her hair right into the machine.” He declined to discuss the extent of his client’s injuries, but did indicate that she was rushed to the emergency room after the incident.
The suit has generated considerable discussion. See local Chicago NBC coverage here, where a poll shows that 79 percent of Chicago locals think the story is laughable, or commentary here, where one writer notes the marketing potential (“Hairs on the floor don’t stand a chance!”).
In spite of the skepticism surrounding the suit, there appears to be evidence to suggest her claim may have legs. Video coverage at Fox News includes pictures of the woman’s scalp allegedly showing the injury to her head. The pictures were thought to be so disturbing that the affected area of the woman’s scalp were blurred for the television clip.
It’s certainly an interesting set of facts. We’ll have to see where this one goes.