Strap busted on sandals, causing me to fall and injure my leg...

by Dina
(Summerlin, Nevada)

I purchased a high-end sandal and decided to use them as a second pair because I would be wearing heels for a special event. I wore my sandals to the bus stop and when I arrived to my event I switched shoes. When I finished up I put the sandals back on to make for a comfortable walk back to the bus stop.

I had them on for about 20 minutes from the time I left my location. When I was crossing a major intersection, the strap that is between the toes snapped, causing me to fall. It was such a busy intersection that I took both sandals off after picking myself up and walked barefoot to my location.

I woke up this morning with lots of pain in my left leg (this was the leg that gave out) after the strap busted. I will go to urgent care. None of this would have happened if it was not for these so called "comfortable" sandals that were cheaply made with a high price tag. What are my rights? Can I sue the company for my medical bill? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Strap busted on sandals, causing me to fall and injure my leg...":

Dina (Summerlin, Nevada):

Fortunately you don't appear to have been seriously injured. What you are referring to is a "product liability" or "defective product" claim. These are legal terms referring to the liability of a manufacturer and retailer for injuries resulting from faulty or negligent manufacturing and sale of a product.

To have a viable claim against the manufacturer, you would need to prove the sandals were either brand new, or very close to new. If you wore them more than once or twice the manufacturer will contend you damaged the sandal in some other manner while wearing it.

Learn more about how to establish a product liability case here.

In your case, filing a lawsuit would not be appropriate. Realistically, unless you were seriously injured after wearing the sandal for the first time, you won't be able to find an attorney who will agree to represent you.

Product liability / defective product claims can take years to pursue. Manufacturers rarely, if ever admit their products are dangerous. Moreover, your injuries apparently aren't life threatening or debilitating. As a result, there would not be enough compensation in a claim for an attorney to make a reasonable fee.

The appropriate action would be for you to go to the store where you purchased the sandals. Bring along the original box the shoes came in and the receipt. Also bring along copies of your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and if applicable, a written letter from your employer confirming the amount of your lost wages. Ask the retailer to reimburse you for those items.

You can also write to the manufacturer and send the same documents, along with a photo of the shoes. Don't send the shoes themselves as they may be lost in transit. Ask for reimbursement for the same costs.

Finally, if all else fails, you can file a small claims lawsuit against the retailer and the manufacturer of the shoe. In Nevada, small claims court are referred to as "Justice Courts" Here's a link to the Rules for Nevada Justice Courts.

The jurisdictional amount (maximum amount) you can sue for in Nevada Justice Courts is $5,000.00. You can sue the manufacturer of the sandals in Nevada Justice Court regardless of which state the manufacturer's corporate office is located. That's because the manufacturer does business in the State of Nevada.

Procedure regarding Justice Courts can be found in Title 6 of Nevada's Revised Statutes.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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