Lori Stick brought her complaint on Feb. 16 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The Adamstown mother of two got the idea to use a garden stool as a shower chair after seeing someone do so in a program on the cable-television network HGTV.
Just two weeks after Stick ordered an Isola Garden Stool by Safavieh over the internet, she returned home on the night of Dec. 9, 2015, to find her husband, Larry, “lying dead on the floor of the shower, surrounded by blood.”
Stick says the coroner determined that 61-year-old Larry had placed his right knee on the top of the stool while showering.
Larry weighed approximately 175 lbs., according to the complaint, but the stool collapsed inward.
“As the decedent’s knee drove down through the stool, the sharp ceramic shards lacerated his right thigh, slicing his femoral artery,” she says.
Stick emphasizes that her Safavieh stool, which she ordered from nonparty Wayfair.com, “did not contain any instructions or product manual, and did not contain any product guide or warnings.”
Calling Safavieh negligent, Stick says neither she nor her husband subjected the stool to any abnormal or unforeseeable use, nor did they use it for an unintended purpose.
“The subject garden stool was defective because … it failed to contain adequate structural components to provide an adequate weight-bearing capacity,” the complaint states.
Stick seeks unspecified punitive damages for wrongful death and strict product liability.
Stick says the company exposed her husband to “a latent hazard … beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchased [the stool.]”
Safavieh has not returned a telephone call seeking comment.
Stick is represented by Miriam Benton Barish of Anapol Weiss.