The lead plaintiff in the prospective class action claims that her 4-year-old daughter suffered extensive scarring from fiberglass particles in South Korea-based Zinus’s “Green Tea Mattress.”
A California woman is leading a proposed class action lawsuit against Zinus, the manufacturer of one of the best-selling mattresses on Amazon.com
According to CBS News, the proposed class action is one of several lawsuits currently pending against South Korea-based Zinus.
The litigation encompasses thousands of potential plaintiffs, most of whom claim to have suffered significant health problems from the fire-resistant fiberglass fibers woven into Zinus’s “Green Tea Mattress.”
The latest lawsuit, reports CBS News, was filed earlier this summer in a Los Angeles court.
Lead plaintiff Vanessa Gutierrez told The Los Angeles Times that the $400 Zinus mattress she bought for her daughter off Amazon.com ended up costing her nearly $20,000 in damages, including medical expenses.
Gutierrez said that the Green Tea Mattress’s fiberglass left scars across her 4-year-old daughter’s chest and calves.
Fiberglass, notes CBS News, is a mixture of plastic and glass. When disturbed, fiberglass can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.
Typically, the type of fiberglass used in flame-retardant barriers is not considered hazardous or otherwise a significant risk to human health.
“Most consumer complaints about fiberglass being released from mattresses that have been reviewed by staff involved the outer cover being removed or damaged,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission told CBS News. “If the outer cover remains intact, then the exposure to fiberglass particles is expected to be minimal.”
The C.P.S.C. further told CBS News that the sort of fiberglass barrier used in Zinus’s products is “standard in the mattress industry,” and is not usually considered a source of pressing concern.
Nevertheless, personal injury attorneys have told The Los Angeles Times that fiberglass particles, coupled with bad design, can ruin consumers’ lives.
“It’s not hyperbole to say that this has ravaged thousands of individuals’ lives from across the United States,” attorney James Radcliffe told the Times.
Radcliffe, an attorney with Illinois-based Cueto Law, earlier filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Illinois couple who claimed they had to spend “months” sheltering in a hotel room after a Zinus mattress spread fiberglass particles throughout their home.
The Illinois plaintiffs, adds CBS News, allegedly incurred more than $200,000 in property damage and legal expenses.
Business Insider reports that Zinus provided a statement to the publication after Gutierrez announced her intent to file a class action.
In its statement, Zinus suggested that consumers like Gutierrez may have negligently endangered themselves by tampering with the mattresses’ safety mechanisms.
“Zinus mattresses currently being sold include locked zippers without pull tabs and an additional sewn-in label that warns against removing the outer cover,” a Zinus spokesperson told Insider. “For all these reasons, we look forward to defending the composition and construction of our products in court, should that be necessary, and are confident we will prevail.”
Gutierrez, however, says that she never removed the mattress cover.