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Widow Says Tide Detergent Pod Killed Husband

CINCINNATI (CN) - A man with diminished mental capacity died after ingesting a Tide Pods laundry detergent capsule, which can easily be mistaken for candy, his wife claims in court.

Darlene Powers, executor of the estate of Dennis Powers, sued the Procter and Gamble Distributing LLC, the Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Co. and the Procter and Gamble Co., in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

The complaint says "on or about February 15, 2014 decedent Dennis Powers swallowed, inhaled and/or was exposed to a portion of the contents of a Tide Pod and suffered serious personal injuries including but not limited to his tragic untimely death."

Powers says "Tide Pods are bright, colorful and can be said to resemble candy in many respects," and are "displayed in stores and sold in soft or hard plastic packages which are not child proof or tamper resistant."

She says when they are ruptured or swallowed, the Pods "can cause poisoning, burning, and irritation to eyes, mucous membranes, lungs and the gastrointestinal tract."

The complaint details allegedly problems experienced by parents whose children have been injured by the Pods, which were introduced in 2012 and "invite[ed] consumers to simply 'pop' the product into the washing machine and see the resulting 'stand out' clean."

It says: "unfortunately, too many unwitting parents did find their lives 'transformed' by this product. Attracted to the candy like appearance o the product and undeterred by packaging which was in no way child proof, many children 'popped' Tide Pods into their mouths and left their parents 'standing' next to their hospital beds watching them try to recover from the poisoning and burns caused by this insidious product."

Powers says because her husband "suffered from diminished mental capacity ... the same concerns raised ... concerning a child's interaction with Tide Pods applies equally to decedent as well as other individuals with diminished mental capacity."

Powers says P&G failed to adequately test the product's packaging prior to its release, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for product liability, negligence, breach of warranty and wrongful death.

She is represented by Richard Schulte of Wright and Schulte in Vandalia, Ohio.

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