AUSTIN (CN) - A Texas woman's leg was torn open by an out of control power chair as she convalesced from hip surgery, she and her husband claim in a lawsuit.
Carolyn and David Edenbaum sued Active American Scooter Company and United Seating and Mobility, LLC, along with their corporate representative James Conwell, in Travis County District Court.
The Edenbaums say the defendants were negligent for not giving them the necessary instructions for using the motorized chair and for providing them an unsuitable and dangerous chair.
They state that Mrs. Edenbaum was at St. David's Rehabilitation Center in Austin recovering from orthopedic hip surgery when Conwell brought her a Jazzy Select power chair to fulfill an order for a motorized chair.
Conwell "briefly spoke to Mr. Edenbaum, while Mrs. Edenbaum was in the room in Austin but medicated," they say.
The couple also say that Conwell "provided only very basic instructions" for the chair prior to leaving. "He had no checklist or guidelines that he went over or ever referred to, he did no assessment or evaluation, he provided no a [sic] manual, he provided no demonstration, he provided no warnings, and he provided no safety instructions on proper and safe use of the chair or dangers to watch out for," the Edenbaums say.
They then go on to describe the event at the heart of the lawsuit. On March 6, 2013, they say, Mrs. Edenbaum was in the power chair in her room at the rehab center "when the chair began going around in circles uncontrollably and spinning at a high rate of speed. As the chair spun out of control, Mrs. Edenbaum began slamming into the bed repeatedly which resulted in the right side of her right leg below the knee to be slammed and caught and torn open to the bone. The skin and tissue of her leg was literally filleted off the bone. There was blood everywhere."
Mrs. Edenbaum was taken to the hospital and needed hours of surgery to repair her leg, which still requires wound care today.
The Edenbaums seek damages of over $1 million for Carolyn Edenbaum's severe injuries, medical care, pain, disability and consortium.
They are represented by Sean Breen, with Howry Breen & Herman, L.L.P. of Austin.