Mini-blinds attack!

By The Madison County Record | Feb 27, 2005

Ever heard of “inner cord strangulation”?

Ever heard of “inner cord strangulation”?

Yeah—- neither had we. But thanks to St. Louis plaintiff’s attorney Jeffrey Lowe, we’re now expert on the menacing threat.

Here's the drill: keep an eye out for mini-blind cords 7 1/4 inches in length. They can do you in—- “strangle” you, to be graphic and specific--- if you’re not careful.

It's another week, and another ulteriorly motivated public service message from the consumer warrior lawyers of Madison and St. Clair Counties.

Filed amidst the now famous Metro-East ‘Great Class Action Storm’ of Feb. 18, 2005, Jeffrey Lowe’s lawsuit against the world’s makers and retailers of mini-blinds—including Wal-Mart, Menards, and Sears-- offers a fine caricature for our broader court system crisis.

While reading it we laughed. We cried. And we learned, yet again, why the Class Action Fairness Act is such an important step towards restoring core American values of personal responsibility.

Lowe’s complaint sets a scene of which Stephen King would be proud.

His prose indicts the evil “window covering industry” where companies “conceal and misrepresent the hazards associated with corded mini blinds.”

The companies lied, and children died, Lowe says. They were victims, killed after being sold a “false sense of security” that their mini-blinds were indeed harmless.

Reading this leads one to picture mini-blinds actually climbing off the wall to hunt their owners down. That’s scary stuff.

If the post-tort reform world is tough on Jeffrey Lowe, he can definitely find a job writing horror flicks.

But lawsuits are more about drama, and this script was stuffed with it. Since 1974, Lowe wrote, 339 “children and/or persons” have been “killed” by mini-blinds. That’s 11.3 deaths per year.

We couldn’t confirm his statistics. But we did learn that according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 14.5 children drown in buckets annually.

So mini-blinds may be dangerous—but they’re less dangerous than buckets. Bucket-makers, be warned.

Tarring inanimate objects as murderous as a means of squeezing a settlement cash out of litigation-loathing businesses was a nice gig while it lasted. But here's hoping these cases fade fast as common sense prevails.

Because death via mini-blinds or bucket is no different than death via stairs, scissors, or Draino. All are accidents—- and none will ever be eradicated from earth, no matter how much money these companies pay guys like Jeffrey Lowe.

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