Husband's heating pad burn deprives wife of love; couple sues

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 17, 2004, 3:50am

A husband's heating pad burn and his wife's resulting deprivation of love are at the center of a $450,000 lawsuit filed against the maker and retailer of Sunbeam model 734 heating pad.

Larry and Wanda Goodrich of Maryville filed suit Dec. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court claiming their Sunbeam heating pad lacked an automatic shut-off feature. As a result, Larry suffered a severe burn.

Wanda claims she has “been permanently deprived of the love, companionship, support and consortium” to which she was entitled.

Represented by Thomas Q Keefe, Jr. of Belleville, the Goodriches are suing Sunbeam and American Household--the designers and manufactures of the heating pad--and also Walgreen Co., where the product was purchased.

“At the time of design, manufacture, and sale, and at the time it left the possession and control of the defendant, the product was in a defective, unreasonably dangerous condition in that it lacked an automatic shut-off feature,” the complaint states.

Goodrich claims that he has suffered permanent pain, mental anguish, disability, and disfigurement. He also incurred large amounts of hospital, medical, and related expenses, and will incur additional amounts in the future.

The suit contends that Larry is prevented from attending to his usual affairs and duties and has lost substantial wages and income, past, present, and future.

Wanda Goodrich claims she is damaged because she is liable for her husband's costly medical expenses.

Walgreen's is accused of negligently and carelessly selling the heating pad without an automatic shut-off device, when it knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that such sale posed a risk of injury to users, including plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

04 L 1380

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