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Sioux Falls woman sues after slip on now-recalled bathmat

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A Sioux Falls woman who slipped on a bathmat marketed as slip-proof is suing the maker and the company that sold it. Diane Williams had a hip replacement about a month before she fell in the shower when she slipped on her Aqua...

SIOUX FALLS (AP) - A Sioux Falls woman who slipped on a bathmat marketed as slip-proof is suing the maker and the company that sold it.

Diane Williams had a hip replacement about a month before she fell in the shower when she slipped on her AquaRug bathmat, the Argus Leader reported. The fall resulted in a broken leg, a surgical revision of Williams' hip replacement, assisted living care and physical therapy.

By the time she had ordered the AquaRug, about a year ago after seeing it on the home shopping network QVC, manufacturer Tristar Products, Inc. had been sued in federal court over allegations that the non-slip bathmat was prone to slippage.

"I purchased the AquaRug because I wanted to be careful after my hip surgery," Williams said. "The ads on television said it was a safer bathmat for the elderly. I don't believe those ads were true and now I don't want anyone else hurt by this product."

Another lawsuit, which was filed late last month in U.S. District Court in South Dakota on Williams' behalf, accuses Tristar Products Inc. and QVC of being aware of the dangers before she bought the bathmat. The complaint includes 40 online customer reviews saying the suction cups didn't stick, the rugs didn't stay in place and they could cause customers to fall.

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"This product was marketed towards some of the most vulnerable people in our community, the elderly and those with physical impairments, who are most prone to serious injury from a fall," said lawyer Brendan Johnson, who filed the lawsuit on Williams' behalf. "We brought this lawsuit in an effort to help protect those members of our community."

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for liability, negligence and breach of warranty.

QVC spokeswoman Diane Zappas said she couldn't comment on the pending litigation. The newspaper said Tristar didn't return requests for comment.

About 1.4 million of the bathmats have been recalled.

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