EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A class action complaint in Madison County Court could shut down the miniblind industry. Attorney Jeffrey Lowe, of Clayton, Mo., claims that everyone associated with miniblinds – manufacturers, distributors and retailers – put the public at risk of strangulation. The lawsuit demands removal and replacement of all miniblinds, effectively shutting down an industry that sells more than 40 million miniblinds a year.
Lowe says 339 people have been strangled on miniblind cords in the past 30 years, does not seek damages from those deaths; it seeks damages for the living. Lowe originally sued in 2005, before Congress passed class action reform. He amended the complaint on Oct. 3, with Judge Daniel Stack’s permission. Lowe accuses the miniblind industry of a conspiracy to cover up the dangers. He claims the defendants met in Chicago in 1994 and “agreed to engage in a conscious course of conduct to lie, conceal and misrepresent by omission the hazards associated with miniblind cords.” Lowe estimates that more than 1 billion defective miniblinds are in use in the U.S.