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Chicago Woman Sues: Stuck in Bathtub 30 Hours

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 19, 2011 7:46 AM

Chicago woman Anna Cullen was stuck in a walk-in bathtub for more than 30 hours, and she isn't happy about it.

Spurred by her 30-hour dip in the tub, she's filed a lawsuit against Premier Care, the tub's manufacturer.

Cullen fell into the bathtub when she was filling it up with water, and became wedged in the front of the tub. That's when she says she tried to unplug the drain, but the chain broke, causing her to be submerged in bathwater for more than 30 hours, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Her daughter found her unconscious in the tub.

Cullen now claims that the tub was the "lousiest $12,000 I ever put out," reports the Chicago Sun-Times. She had installed the tub only days earlier.

She says she was in the hospital for four days and had to stay in a nursing home for an additional three months. Cullen sustained injuries to her skin from being in the water for so long, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

In products liability cases like Cullen's, liability can arise if the product was defectively designed or if there is a manufacturing defect.

Defective design cases focus on whether the product was inherently unsafe. To prove their case, plaintiffs generally have to come up with an alternative design that would have made the product safer. This alternative design, however, must be reasonably practical and cannot come with an astronomical price increase.

Defects in manufacturing, on the other hand, result not from the design plans of a product but in the manufacturing process itself. In these cases, the defective product deviates from the intended design as a result of the manufacturing process.

Whether Anna Cullen's case leans toward manufacturing or design defect will affect what she will need to prove in order to win her case. She is currently asking for more than $50,000 in damages the injuries she sustained from getting stuck in the bathtub, reports the Sun-Times.

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