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Walk-In Whirlpool Bathtubs: Are They Safe?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on February 10, 2016 10:58 AM

For those without the space or money for a full hot tub experience, a walk-in whirlpool bathtubs can be the perfect way to relax. After all, it only takes up the same space as you standard shower and tub setup, and can provide the same recuperative effects as a giant outdoor hot tub.

But how safe are they? One woman's family is claiming her walk-in whirlpool bathtub was "unreasonably dangerous and potentially deadly," after she became trapped for two days and died.

Decompression Tub or Death Trap?

Sherry Lynn Cunnison's family is suing the whirlpool bathtub company and the company that installed the whirlpool bathtubs, First Street for Boomers & Beyond, after it failed to drain, trapping her for days. The lawsuit alleges the 67-year-old Cunnison was in her walk-in whirlpool bathtub in February of 2014 when she tried to pull the drain plug to let out the water.

The water failed to drain, meaning Cunnison could not open the door to leave the whirlpool bathtub. Friends found her body two days later.

whirlpool bathtubs Liability

Along with standard negligence claims, Cunnison's family is alleging the whirlpool bathtubs manufacturer, dealers, and installers failed to warn her of dangerous conditions as required under product liability law. The lawsuit claims

  • Design Defects: The walk-in whirlpool bathtubs's design was flawed in a way that rendered it unreasonably dangerous;
  • Manufacturing Defects: The walk-in whirlpool bathtubs was improperly manufactured in a way that dangerously departed from the intended design; and
  • Warning Defects: The walk-in whirlpool bathtubs lacked adequate instructions or warnings, the omission of which rendered it not reasonably safe.

If a walk-in whirlpool bathtubs was improperly designed, poorly manufactured, or lacked proper warnings, the manufacturer could be liable for any injuries or damages. Sellers and installers could also be liable if they failed to warn whirlpool bathtub purchasers of known dangers in owning and operating a walk-in whirlpool bathtubs.

If you've been injured by a defective product, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.

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