Defective Clothing: Family Files $30 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Blair LLC After 80-Year-old Womans Chenille Bathrobe Catches Fire

Nearly five years after Atwilda Brown died from severe injuries that she sustained when her chenille bathrobe caught fire, the elderly woman’s family is suing Blair LLC for her wrongful death. They are seeking $30 million.
The 80-year-old was making tea on February 12, 2005 when the tragic accident caused by the defective clothing happened. She is one of nine people who have died because a Blair chenille robe caught fire. Most of the victims were elderly people. Three of the people who died were cooking when the tragic burn accidents happened.

Brown’s daughter, Sharon Davis, says she wants more people to realize how deadly the chenille robes have proven to be for wearers. Already, Blair LLC has announced two recalls because the robes and other chenille items do not meet federal flammability standards. This means that the person wearing the robe and those nearby are at risk of burn injuries if the wearer makes contact with an open flame.
A few weeks ago, the daughters of Evelyn and Murray Rogoff also sued Blair LLC for their parents’ wrongful deaths. Last February, the sleeve of Evelyn’s chenille robe caught fire while she was making tea. Murray was also injured when he tried to help his wife.
Susan Brent says she heard her mother screaming and found her parents on the floor. She used bottles of water to stop the fire but her mom had already sustained serious arm, neck, and back injuries. Evelyn died six weeks after the burn accident. Murray died from a heart attack in July.
Brent and her sister Michele Putini are seeking nearly $2 million for products liability, which they are linking to their parents’ wrongful deaths.
Clothes are supposed to meet the US standards for flammability. While all clothes are susceptible for catching fire, certain fabrics are more susceptible to igniting faster than others, which can prove fatal to the wearer. A clothes manufacturer can be held liable if a piece of clothing proves to be a flammable hazard that causes serious burn injury or death to its wearer.
Daughters: Company’s Defective Robe Caused Parents’ Deaths,, October 29, 2009
Woman Blames Robe For Mother’s Death, Eyewitness News 3, October 27, 2009
Blair Expands Recall To All Women’s Chenille Apparel Due to Burn Hazard; Additional Reported Deaths Prompt Re-Announcement of Robe Recall, CPSC, October 22, 2009
Related Web Resource:
Flammable Fabrics Act

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