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Navy Officer Suffers|Horrors in a Bathtub

HAMPTON, Va. (CN) - A retired and disabled Navy officer says he was trapped for 2 days in his bathtub by a poorly designed folding shower chair that trapped his arm so badly in a pinch point that the arm had to be amputated. When neighbors finally found him, Mark Baker says, he was delirious and his kidneys were failing.

Baker demands $10 million from Patterson Medical Supply.

Baker, who has multiple sclerosis, says Patterson made its folding shower chair for people like him. His left arm became caught in a pinch point on Oct. 20, 2009, and his "repeated efforts to withdraw his arm only increased the unguarded pinch point pressure on the blood vessels that supplied his arm. Plaintiff, who lived alone, remained so trapped for in excess of 48 hours while his arm, deprived of blood by the pinch points, continued to be entrapped in the folding shower chair."

When "concerned neighbors" finally summoned help, Baker says, he was "found in a delirious condition with his arm horribly discolored as a result of a complete loss of blood circulation caused by the unreasonably dangerous pinch point of the defendant's folding shower chair."

His left arm had to be amputated, he suffered "multiple system failure to include kidney failure" and severe emotional distress.

Baker says Patterson's chair is poorly designed because the way it folds creates "an entrapment zone and unguarded pinch point," which he and similarly handicapped people "would foreseeably not be able to appreciate and from which a handicapped person would, in its intended use in the often confined space of a bathroom, have great difficulty extricating themselves from. ...

"It can entrap, pinch and hold a helpless handicapped person under circumstances where the individual has a complete inability to escape the hazard, which increases in danger and intensity as the user struggles - exactly the scenario which cost the plaintiff his arm."

Baker says the hazard could have been eliminated "by a simple reconfiguration or elimination of a cross member of the folding shower chair."

He is represented by Michael Imprevento with Breit, Drescher, Imprevento & Walker of Norfolk and P. Brent Brown with Brown & Jennings of Roanoke.

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