A retractable dog leash, made by SlyDog, has been recalled after it recoiled unexpectedly and partially blinded a young girl. Dereka Williams was walking her pit bull terrier puppy when the leash broke, recoiled back and struck her in the eye, tearing her retina. Because of these injuries, Williams has undergone three surgeries, wears specially made glasses, and sometimes struggles to maintain balance. Dereka’s family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court accusing SlyDog, as well as Dollar General who carried the product, of causing the injuries; they are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. The Williams’ attorney claims the company should have issued a national recall months before Dereka was injured because there were incidents of people being harmed by the product earlier.
This is actually a not uncommon event. My law firm has represented several people for similar injuries: one lady had a dog leash unexpectedly retract, causing partial blindness; another gentleman had a bungee cord connector snap open causing the cord to recoil into his eye with the connector striking him in the eye. In each of the latter instances, the defendant manufacturers were aware of this hazard, and did not design out the hazard. Both cases were successfully resolved.