Jessica Lang, a South Carolina woman, is suing Victoria’s Secret for a product defect claim involving a bra. Lang claims that the bra in 2005 “malfunctioned,” leaving a 3-inch long, ¼-inch deep laceration on her left breast. The case appears to be brought in negligence rather than strict liability as “negligently and carelessly manufactured” and was “unsafe for its intended use.”.
She is seeking punitive damages as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, future disability, loss of prospective business relations and continuing injury. One interesting element is her claim that the damages are tied in part to her work as a model.
Victoria Secret is claiming plaintiffs’ conduct and citing Lang’s alleged “carelessness and recklessness.”
Like all major manufacturers, Victoria Secret faces a steady line of such complaints, which often alleged either design or manufacturing defects. The facts of this case could involve either claim, a question better resolved after discovery. It is hard to imagine how a customer’s conduct — even careless and reckless conduct — would excuse liability in such a case.
Victoria Secret will no doubt hope for a better run in this litigation line than its loss a few years ago when a small Kentucky sex shop was able to take it all the way to the Supreme Court and prevail in a major trademark case, click here.
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