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Do I sue?

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Our bathroom was remodeled in May. And then June…tragedy struck. One of the glass doors just spontaneously shattered while Princess was bathing. When I say shattered, I mean shattered!

She was covered in cuts, glass in her feet, hands, everywhere. I am sure you can imagine how traumatizing it was.

And before you ask, there had been no trauma to the door, she wasn’t opening or closing it, she was bathing and it literally burst, impaling her with shards of glass. (I have pictures of her covered in cuts but there are pretty bloody so didn’t want to post here.)

I was sitting in my room, no more than 15 feet from the door when it happened.

Replacement and repairs complete

The vendor who supplied the doors and the contractor who originally installed it both jumped in quick to provide replacement glass and get it re-installed. (The two are not related.) Sea Cadet and I spent hours cleaning up glass both from the bathroom and bedroom, it propelled out the door. And then we continued to find glass in Princess for several days. (At the time of this writing, she is all healed with just a few visible scars on her chest area and hands.)

I did have to pay the contractor, but it was minimal. He was very thorough in his inspection and documented everything so we could be sure it wasn’t an installation issue.

What do you want?

I recently received a letter from the vendor, essentially asking what compensation we are seeking. To be honest, while I did take the pictures to them when I reported it, I didn’t think of filing a claim. But I guess they did that.

And I don’t want to set the example of being “sue happy” to my kids. But on the other side…

As I researched the manufacturer of this glass, I came across several reviews of “spontaneous combustion” issues. Princess was/is traumatized by this. We both are a bit. I am SUPER CAREFUL with the shower doors and I am certain she is as well. What if it had been a smaller child? What if the glass hit her eyes? So many what ifs?

She couldn’t use her hands for most of a week. Her feet remained bandaged for a week.

You get the point..

So now I am considering what “we want” in response to their claim letter. And I am wholly uncertain of how to respond. Suggestions?


12 Comments

  • Reply Emily N. |

    That’s so scary! Did Princess get medical care? At minimum I think you should ask the company to cover those bills, plus any lost employment time for her.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thankfully, Sea Cadet is an EMT and he rushed over to help. We were able to get all the glass out, although we did find more over the next several days as well. And nothing required stitches…so she just looked a bit crazy for the first several days because she had bandaids EVERYWHERE.

  • Reply Denise |

    I would ask for your expenses to be covered. In this case, whatever you paid your contractor. We’re there any medical bills? If so, include them. Asking for more for “trauma” seems a bit of a stretch and is more likely to get your request declined. Getting back your expenses seems like the most fair and honest approach. If you are concerned about the quality of the product maybe also ask the company to put in writing that they will cover replacement costs and any potential medical expenses if this happens again in the next 5 years.

  • Reply Stephanie |

    Hi Hope, at a minimum, I would ask for funds to cover replacing shower doors to an alternative provider (not sure I would believe the second one won’t explore), Princess’ lost wages (since she couldn’t work due to injuries), and cost of the contractor’s inspection. If you feel Princess should seek counseling, I would add in the co-pays.

    Caution though, my experience is that if you provide a reasonable amount with explanation, there is no argument. But once you provide a total and it’s been paid, you can’t go back for more. I would try to resolve this myself but I would also probably call an attorney to get some thoughts (most will answer questions over the phone for free).

    Good luck and most importantly, thank goodness Princess is on the mend.
    Stephanie

  • Reply Angie |

    I’m not sure you have a full case to sue, especially without any documentable damages (ex. medical bills). It would be difficult to prove whether the liability is with the glass vendor or the installer especially with it being 2-3 months later and all cleaned up. However, since they are already asking I would definitely request some amount for damages for time spent and distress. I wouldn’t expect more than 1-2k, if that. But that’s just a wild guess. How much was the door in question?

  • Reply JP |

    Well you wouldnt sue, you don’t really have any documented injuries that required even a doctor’s visit. But, if they ask, throw out a number, maybe a couple of grand, and let them know you’ll sign off agreeing to that as settlement in full.

  • Reply Walnut |

    So a couple thoughts. Evaluate how much emotional energy you and Princess want to put into this. How much is worth it or is better to focus on moving on?

    You may consider consulting with an attorney to understand your options. I would look for someone who will give you a consultation without fees. That will help you get a bearing on what your options are here.

    Since someone is asking you what you want, definitely request for your contractor bills to be reimbursed and put a value on any lost time princess had from work as well as some compensation for Sea Cadet’s services.

    You also likely don’t need to make any decisions now. Sit with this for a month or so and then decide later.

  • Reply Anon Lawyer |

    Did she miss work? If so I’d probably ask for lost wages and probably round up a bit. Since she’s basically fine I wouldn’t turn this into a whole thing. It’s not worth actually suing over but it’s fair to request some compensation.

  • Reply Katie |

    Consult an attorney. This company may be trying to settle w you to keep this quiet and avoid a recall.

  • Reply JJ |

    Yes, ask for compensation for any $$ spent to repair etc, and for her lost wages and even yours or Sea Cadet’s if you ended up missing time off work etc. So scary, glad she is OK.

  • Reply Shanna |

    Yikes! That happened to my daughter’s shower door as well in a house she was renting at school. The cleaning lady was in the bathroom and it did the same thing, no one touching it. She said it sounded like a gun shot! Luckily the cleaning lady was unhurt but it sure scared her! If they are asking you, they clearly expect there to be fall out. I would ask for them to cover all replacement and cleaning expenses, medical expenses (band-aids, etc) and lost wages for the time she couldn’t work. It won’t amount to enough for them to even blink to pay it and it will help you. If they are offering they clearly think you have a case for product liability.

So, what do you think ?