This is perhaps one of the oddest product defect suits you'll ever see.
The Regents of the University of Colorado are suing a toilet paper manufacturer and its distributor for providing "defective" toilet paper that allegedly clogged pipes in 27 academic buildings, leading to severe overflows and general restroom chaos.
Wondering how toilet paper can be defective? It didn't properly "disperse."
Through a contract for janitorial supplies, Waxie Enterprises provided the University's Boulder campus with toilet paper made by Royal Paper Converting. They are both defendants.
In the spring of 2009, toilets in 27 bathrooms on campus began to overflow, gurgle, and resist flushing, reports Colorado's 9 News. Luckily the dorms were unaffected.
To fix the problem, which plumbers traced to the defective toilet paper, the university had to spend $40,000, reports the Daily Camera. That sum includes the cost of cutting through concrete so that a main sewer line could be cleared.
As regular readers may know, product defect lawsuits generally center around dangerous products and personal injury. However, they may also be brought when defective products cause other types of damage, such as that to property.
The university will have to demonstrate that a design or manufacturing defect, or general negligence, was the cause of their toilet woes.
Apparently, this might not be so difficult.
Non-defective toilet paper is designed to break up and disperse when it becomes saturated with water, reports the Daily Camera. If the toilet paper is too "tough," it won't disperse and will clog pipes.
- CU blames "defective" toilet paper for plumbing problems in 2009 (Denver Post)
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- Defective and Dangerous Products - Resources (FindLaw)
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