Office Depot has refused to issue a recall for an office chair, despite receiving numerous complaints from injured customers about the chair collapsing without warning. The Gibson Leather Office Chair is marketed exclusively by the office supply chain. The chair, manufactured by Wonderful Year Furniture Company, located in China, is imported by Swinton Avenue Trading Company. Ironically, the import company recalled another chair, Office Depot Biella Office Chair, which is made by the same manufacturer and has the same registration number as the Gibson, after complaints about the same weld failure in the chair. That weld failure causes the plate of the seat to separate from the chair base. Nancy Losey of San Antonio, TX, has filed a lawsuit against the company after her chair collapsed, with the fall breaking her hip and requiring hip replacement surgery.
According to a report in The Safety Record, between 2009 and 2010, Office Depot received at least 18 consumer complaints about the Gibson chair collapsing. The publication found consumer complaints about the chair going as far back as 2006. One consumer, whose chair collapsed, became so frustrated with Office Depot’s lack of ownership about the product that she took to the internet and blogged about her experience. That blog post attracted over 300 comments from other customers just as frustrated about their broken chairs. She was told by Office Depot management there was nothing they could do about her broken chair and suggested that she should have purchased the extended warranty when she bought her $119.00 chair.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating consumer complaints about the chairs. They advise any consumers who have had similar experiences with this product to file a complaint at saferproducts.gov
The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:
It’s puzzling as to why, with so many consumer complaints, including reports of serious injuries, that Office Depot refuses to issue a recall on the chair and warn customers about the potential hazards. We hope that the CPSC will take effective action so there won’t be any more injuries.
There are 34 million people injured or killed every year as a result of product related accidents, with the estimated cost of these injuries of $12 billion annually. Companies that produce and sell hazardous products need to be held accountable for the pain and loss that victims of these products suffer.
Defective and dangerous products come in all shapes and sizes, from cars to cribs and from prescription drugs to building insulation. If you or a family member has been injured, sickened or killed by an unsafe product, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.
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