Our firm has filed a lawsuit against Blair Corporation and three independent testing companies in the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. We represent Harold Ledbetter who lost his mother, Annie Thrash. On the morning of October 30, 2008, Mrs. Thrash was in her apartment in Opelika, Alabama. She was making coffee at a gas stove when the chenille robe she was wearing caught fire. Mrs. Thrash was severely burned and died as a result of these burns.
Mrs. Thrash purchased her robe from Blair Corporation of Warren, Pennsylvania. We will prove that the Blair robe was defective and dangerous and that it failed to meet the Federal Flammability standards. Blair has admitted that it became aware of reports concerning flammability issues with its chenille robes in the fall of 2008. In April of this year, after learning of six separate fire-related deaths associated with its chenille robes, Blair Corporation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled the robes.
Blair statements indicate that the other companies, also named as Defendants in this case, whose independent commercial testing labs were used to test the flammability of the robes, issued passing test reports that every lot of the robes passed Federal flammability standards. Upon receiving three complaints regarding the flammability of the robes in late 2008 and early 2009, Blair retested every lot of chenille robes that remained in its stock. It was then discovered by Blair that the some or all of the remaining garments did not pass Federal flammability standards.
Interestingly, two companies whose independent commercial testing labs were used to test the flammability of these robes, STR and Bureau Veritas, submitted comments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission on proposed rulemaking to update the Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles in 2006 and 2007. Rick Morrison and Cole Portis from our firm represent the family of Annie Thrash.
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