PITTSBURGH, Penn. – A Pittsburgh-area woman who claims to have received first- and second-degree burns on her head and face while using an electric blanket has filed a federal lawsuit against Sunbeam Products, alleging it negligently manufactured the blanket.
The plaintiff, who filed the complaint in a Western Pennsylvania federal court, seeks more than $250,000 in damages and any additional compensation the court finds suitable, the Penn Record reported.
The plaintiff’s attorney told the Penn Record that the woman fell asleep using her electric blanket. When she woke up, she found the blanket had heated excessively where she had it pressed against her face, leaving her with visible burn marks that required medical treatment.
“The blankets by design are supposed to be self-limiting in temperature, and should not heat above a temperature that would potentially cause a fire,” the plaintiff’s lawyer told the Penn Record, adding that the plaintiff would not have been injured had the blanket been manufactured properly. The heating element should have had a proper density and the circuitry should have worked properly, the complaint states.
“You shouldn’t fall asleep and wake up with burns on your body,” the plaintiff’s lawyer told the Penn Record.
The lawsuit is not the first time that Sunbeam and other manufacturers of electric blankets and heating pads have been sued over negligent manufacturing and burn injuries. In 2004, Sunbeam settled a class action lawsuit in an Arkansas State Court. Plaintiffs in that case claimed that Sunbeam’s electric blankets and mattress pads were malfunctioning and causing fires.
The Penn Record notes that Sunbeam has since redesigned its products to make them less prone to cause fires either by misuse or manufacturing defect. However, cases such as the one filed in Western Pennsylvania demonstrate that some manufacturers still have work to do to ensure their electric blankets and heating pads aren’t able to cause burn injuries and fires.
Source: Penn Record