Visitor Question

Back injury due to recliner’s leg rest failing to lock in place…

Submitted By: Teresa (Silver Springs, FL)

My dad was getting out of his recliner when the leg rest failed to lock in place. It jerked up and knocked him down. He fell and fractured a cervical vertebrae. He has been in a lot of pain from this back injury. He is 81 years old.

I’m wondering what do you think are his chances of recovering? How could he prove a case against the manufacturer of the recliner? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Teresa,

Only your father’s physician can tell you the chances of your father recovering. You may have a legitimate claim against the manufacturer and the store which sold the recliner. In legal terms this is referred to as a “product liability” claim. A product liability claim is complex. You will need an attorney to represent your father.

Most personal injury attorneys won’t charge a fee for an initial office consultation so try to visit with several. Before you go in for your appointments make sure you have the original receipt for the chair. Take photographs of the chair, especially focusing on the lever which raises the leg rest. The attorneys will need to study them.

If the chair is defective there may already be a class action lawsuit filed. On behalf of your father you may be able to “opt in,” or join the class action. You won’t have to pay any legal fees in advance. If there is a class action you’ll be among many other people who may have been injured by that particular type of recliner.

If the class action is successful your father will share in the proceeds of the settlement.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 31, 2013

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