Amanda Chandler and Robert Durham were thrilled with their new memory foam mattress, until they discovered it had showered them and their home with invisible glass shards that had them fleeing from their home and to the doctor to have the shards surgically removed from their flesh.
The Indiana couple don’t believe they are the only ones to find themselves bathed in bitty, shimmery glass particles from memory foam mattresses. They filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Illinois federal court against Zinus Inc. mattress company alleging the company fraudulently concealed and failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with its mattresses. Amazon, Target, Walmart, eBay, and Wayfair are also listed as defendants for carrying the mattresses.
Chandler and Durham say that after they brought their new mattress into their home in January, they unzipped the removable cover to wash it. Meanwhile, their sons started jumping on the mattress, releasing the tiny glass fibers through a small rip on the inner cover.
“Tiny shards of glass were embedded in all parts of their home, both inside and out, including their clothing, bedding, towels, appliances, carpet, tile, walls, tools, electronics, and inside their cars,” the complaint states.
The fibers coated their bodies, making them itch. They couldn’t escape the particles in their home nor the discomfort they caused them, so Chandler and Durham moved into a hotel in February. Durham needed surgery to remove the glass shards that had embedded in his neck. They also worry about other health risks the fibers may have caused.
“The glass fibers attach to essentially anything they touch,” the complaint states. “Glass fibers that reach the lower part of a person’s lungs increases the chances of adverse health effects.”
Reports of thousands of glass shards releasing from memory foam mattresses can be found on the internet. The Cantrell family of Texas claimed they were covered in near-invisible glass fibers after removing the cover of their DHP Furniture memory foam mattress purchased through Amazon. When they complained to the company, a company spokesperson responded, “In order for us to meet U.S. federal mattress flammability standards, many memory foam mattresses are constructed with a fire retardant knit fabric barrier that includes glass fiber threads.”
Brittney Rodriguez, also of Texas, had a similar experience. The mattress company agreed to refund the full $309 purchase price of her mattress and is awaiting a separate estimate to clean her home. The first one came in at $4,000.
In many cases where defective consumer products result in economic losses, an avenue of redress is class action litigation. A class action lawsuit allows a large group of people to bring their claims collectively, where an individual may not have the time or resources to file an individual lawsuit. Lawyers at Beasley Allen have handled a variety of claims for individuals who have been affected by defective consumer products. For more information on this subject, contact Dee Miles, Consumer Fraud Section Head, or Clay Barnett in our Atlanta office.