A woman has sued Bunnings after she claimed she suffered brain damage after being thrown from a hammock she bought at a retailer.
Retail giant Bunnings is being sued for more than $1.4 million by a woman who claims she suffered a brain injury after being thrown from a hammock she bought at a hardware store.
Julie Kilsby, 49, was injured after slipping from a hammock she bought at Bunnings, resulting in her head hitting a brick window sill.
A claim filed in the Supreme Court of Queensland said the incident left Ms Kilsby with a traumatic brain injury and ongoing issues such as memory loss, seizures and chronic headaches.
Ms Kilsby purchased a hammock for $99 from a Bunnings store in Maroochydore on January 3, 2020.
He set up the hammock according to the assembly instructions but found the fabric between the two ends of the frame too taut.
According to the statement of claim, the instructions provided with the hammock did not warn of “any risk of injury to the hammock when its fabric was new and tightly stretched, inhaling, or lying or sitting or sitting”. .
There was reportedly nothing in the instructions that said the fabric should be allowed to stretch and sag before use.
When Ms Kilsby attempted to enter the hammock, she “slipped through the hammock’s cloth” and “hit her head on a brick window”.
“As a result, the plaintiff lost consciousness for a brief period and suffered a concussion and other personal injuries,” the claim said.
According to the claim, Ms Kilsby suffered symptoms of depression and anxiety due to a traumatic brain injury and a chronic adjustment disorder.
She also suffers from impaired cognition and memory, episodes of seizures, anxiety, chronic headaches and migraines, dizziness and tinnitus and a decrease in her verbal skills.
Ms. Kilsby is claiming $1.4 million in damages, which includes $180,000 in future care, $250,000 in future economic damages, more than $48,000 in future and recurring expenses, and approximately $50,000 in past economic losses.
News.com.au understands that there is no record of any other such incident involving the product under consideration.
In a statement, Bunnings said it took product safety “very seriously.”
Jane Tucker, the company’s director of merchandise, said, “We take our commitment to product safety and quality very seriously, and we work with our suppliers to ensure that the products we sell are safe, complaint and are fit for purpose.”
“This includes working with our suppliers to ensure that the instructions involved are clear.
“We understand that this matter is before the court, and it would not be appropriate for us to comment further during the course of the proceedings.”
Ms Kilsby said she had relied on assistance from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) since the incident.
“Since the incident, I’ve had a lot of damage, including a serious brain injury,” she said.
“I am grateful to the NDIS for recently accepting my application for some support. It is still early days, however they are in the process of selecting a suitable person to assist me.
“At the end of the day, I cannot buy a new mind. However, I need to find a way to survive and live my life to the best of my ability.”
At the time of the injury, Ms. Kilsby was in front of a barista and a House staff member.
According to the claim, when she returned to work she struggled to remember things, constantly forgot things, mixed up commands and had difficulty learning new skills and understanding instructions.
“Due to the personal injuries of the plaintiff, the plaintiff has endured and continues to suffer pain, suffering and loss of facilities of life,” the claim said.
It also said that Ms Kilsby has undergone medical treatment and will require future medical, hospital, surgical, pharmacological and rehabilitative treatment.
Ms Kilsby’s lawyer, Travis Schultz, managing partner at Travis Schultz & Partners, said Australia has some of the strongest consumer protection laws in the world.
“People who suffer injury as a result of products that contain defects or are not fit for purpose have a range of remedies that include claims in breach of contract, in negligence, and perhaps most importantly The point is that the consumer claims infringement guarantees that are enshrined under Australian Consumer Law (ACL),” Mr Schultz said.
“Under a consumer guarantee, suppliers may be liable for goods that are of unacceptable quality, do not conform to their description, contain defects, or are not fit for purpose.
“Even where the manufacturer of the product is overseas, it is the supplier who will be responsible for ensuring that Australian consumers have a viable remedy where they suffer injury as a result of a defective product.”