Visitor Question

What To Do About Staple Sticking Out of New Couch that Cut Our Daughter?

Submitted By: Amy (Long Beach, California)

I bought a new couch at a well known furniture store a month ago. Within the first 2 weeks my six-year-old cut her hand by gently gliding it across the top. I didn’t see where she cut it. It was a small prick wound.

But the next week she was tumbling on the couch and she cut her leg on the same spot of couch. We looked for it carefully and found a staple poking up so we put cork on it and called the furniture company.

Well, she cut her wrist on it (not seeing the cork) so now we have masking tape all over the spot and told her not to touch it until we get this fixed or a new couch.

Anyways, the manager didn’t call me back for two days and I can tell that they probably won’t do much.

I bought the couch for $600 not including delivery – just 7 weeks ago. What are my rights as a consumer? Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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.

Answer

Dear Amy,

Thank you for your email and we hope your daughter is doing better. Depending on details concerning the staple, you could try to file a defective products claim.

Get Your Daughter to a Doctor

Before discussing your actual claim, you should make a doctor’s appointment for your daughter (if you haven’t already).

Her medical attention, just like any other claimant’s medical attention, is the number one priority following an injury.

Further, a physician’s records serve as documentation to show the losses you and your daughter suffered because of the potentially defective couch.

Other similar documentation includes:

  • Receipts for other medical expenses
  • Records of any lost wages for taking your daughter to doctor appointments

Product Defect Cases

In a defective product case, customers say that they were injured because of a product’s defect. The customer then tries to place blame for the losses on the manufacturer of the product, the store that sold it, or another business.

In many personal injury cases, the injured victim typically has to prove negligence to receive compensation for injuries. Negligence means that another person caused an injury after failing to show the care of a reasonable person.

This is not true, though, in defective product claims.

Product defect cases involve strict liability. Strict liability means that once customers show they were damaged because of a product defect, the maker or seller presumes responsibility for any injury losses. But, a maker or seller can avoid responsibility by showing that a product was not defective.

Who to file a claim with?

The facts of a case will tell claimants who they should file a personal injury claim with.

You can look to the following for compensation:

  • The manufacturer of the defective product
  • The manufacturer of the parts used in construction of the defective product
  • The seller of the product

Does the Staple Make Your Couch Defective?

This is the most important question in your case.

It’s difficult to answer without considering more facts and issues about the staple, like:

  • Where the staple is located on the couch
  • The size of the staple
  • The type of staple
  • If the staple has any markings that suggest where it came from
  • What the staple is commonly used for
  • How the staple is commonly used in the industry
  • Whether and how the couch was packed prior to delivery

The above considerations may show that the couch, is in fact, defective. If so, you can file a claim with the couch’s maker or the furniture store.

Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Some homeowners believe that their homeowner’s insurance policy will help compensate them for injuries they suffer in their own homes (or that family members living in the home suffer). However, this is not the case.

Coverage is only for injured people that were invited to the home, like:

  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Delivery persons

Contact a Lawyer for Help

Product defect cases can grow complex. A skilled lawyer will better understand the difficult law in this area and what business to file a claim with.

Further, a California injury attorney can research state case law to help determine whether a staple really can make a couch defective.

Learn more here: Dangerous Furniture Injury Claims

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,

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