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The Sacramento Kings and NBA player Francisco Garcia have settled their product liability lawsuit against exercise ball manufacturer Ledraplastic.
Three years ago, Garcia was balancing on an exercise ball and lifting weights at the same time. Garcia claims he had 90-pound weights in each hand when the ball suddenly burst. As a result, Garcia says that he fell forcibly to the ground and suffered serious injuries including a fractured forearm, reports The Sacramento Bee.
At the time, Garcia had just signed a five-year contract extension with the Kings worth almost $30 million. He had to miss a good portion of the initial season of the contract and suffered lingering injuries throughout.
Garcia and the Kings sued for a breach of the manufacturer’s warranty. They claimed that the Ledraplastic marketed the ball as being able to withstand 600 pounds and being “burst resistant.” Yet, they claimed that Garcia burst the ball while carrying only 180 pounds of weights. During testing, Garcia’s attorney was reportedly able to recreate the ball bursting with 400 pounds on it.
Generally, a manufacturer of a product will be liable for any injuries if the product is not made as advertised. Manufacturers simply can’t throw around words like “burst resistant” or being able to withstand a specified amount of weight if their products cannot in fact do so. And if someone is injured because of the defective product, the manufacturer typically has to pay.
The terms of the settlement in the exercise ball case is private, but the Kings had sought reimbursement for the salary they paid Garcia. Garcia had also sought damages for pain and suffering as well as loss in future earning capacity. As NBA players get paid a lot, the amount that Ledraplastic paid to resolve the lawsuit is likely significant.
In addition, Ledraplastic is also required to include a warning to all purchasers of the ball not to use it while lifting free weights.