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Couple sues bed manufacturer

October 14, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

A Chambersburg, Pa., couple is suing the manufacturer of a hospital bed for $59,500 after the woman was injured when the bed shocked her, according to a lawsuit filed in Washington County Circuit Court.

Tonya L. and Sheldon P. Richmond, of 7385 Talhelm Road, are suing Flex-A-Bed Inc., Flex-A-Bed of Georgia Inc. and Wonderbed Mfg. Corp. for the loss of work and companionship due to Tonya Richmond's injuries, according to the lawsuit.

Richmond was a caregiver for Hagerstown resident Edyth Young when the injury occurred on Oct. 20, 1994, said Richmond's Baltimore attorney, Franklin Freeman. The hospital bed belonged to Young, he said.

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Young and the Richmonds could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Tanya Richmond was operating the remote for the motorized bed when she was shocked and thrown against a wall, injuring her head and shoulder, Freeman said.

According to the lawsuit, Richmond was unable to work from Oct. 20, 1994, to Feb. 15, 1995, due to her injuries.

"The bed had a bad motor in it," Freeman said.

R.W. Dodrill, president of Flex-A-Bed in Long Beach, Calif., had no comment, according to a company receptionist.

"Flex-A-Bed believes the suit has no merit whatsoever and intends to defend it vigorously," said Janet Truhe, a Flex-A-Bed attorney.

Wonderbed officials could not be reached for comment.

Freeman said it will be a tough case.

The lawsuit is for a small amount to prevent the case from being transferred to federal court, Freeman said. Federal courts are more stringent about product liability cases than state courts, he said.

The lawsuit filed Oct. 8 asks for $509,500, but Freeman said he will change the amount to $59,500.

Freeman said the Richmonds received about $9,500 from worker's compensation through State Farm Mutual Insurance Co., the insurance company for Young.

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