Office Max named in defective chair complaint

Ann Knef Apr. 13, 2006, 2:51am

James McQuillan of Belleville is suing Office Max for injuries he sustained after falling from an allegedly defective chair.

In the lawsuit filed April 11 in St. Clair County, McQuillan claims a weld joint failed in the $199.99 chair that was purchased from the Fairview Heights Office Max store in 1998, causing the seat to become detached from the cylinder.

McQuillan was using the six-year-old Zhejiang Himax Furniture chair at his place of employment -- Paul Mirring Florist in East St. Louis -- on May 5, 2004, when the incident occurred.

Represented by Thomas C. Rich and Jennifer L. Barbieri of Fairview Heights, McQuillan is seeking in excess of $350,000 in damages on counts of product liability, breach of implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence.

McQuillan claims injuries to his legs, neck, shoulder and low back. He claims medical expenses and a disability as a result of the fall.

According to the suit, the chair was inadequately designed and constructed, and inherently unstable.

"As a result, the goods, namely the chair, were not worth what the plaintiff paid for, but were worth much less than the amount paid to the defendant," the complaint states.

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