Woman Claims She Got Stuck In Tub, Files Lawsuit

Updated 08/16/11 – 8:10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — An Illinois woman, who says she was stuck in her walk-in tub for more than 30 hours last year, is suing the manufacturer.

Anna Cullen, of Oregon in western Illinois, said she paid $12,000 for her tub from Premier Baths of Florida.

According to her lawsuit, the second time she used the tub in September, she missed the seat and became wedged in the front part of the tub.

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Cullen, who is in her 70s, tried to drain the water but the chain on the stopper broke.

“There isn’t any way get her fingers around it and she can’t get it open,” said Cullen’s lawyer, Michael Clancy. “She remains wedged in the tub for more than a day.”

She claims she suffered skin damage after being in the water for 30 hours and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages

Premier Care released a statement Tuesday night saying the allegations are “totally without merit.”

“We intend to vigorously defend this and are confident we will prevail in court,” the statement said.

“Premier Care in Bathing’s primary concern is always for our customers and their safety. Our mission is and will remain to provide our customers with the ability to bathe safely and more comfortably and to allow them to remain in their own homes longer. We have provided thousands of Premier Care Bathing customers with safety, independence and the ability to remain in their homes. All products manufactured by Premier have undergone the strictest testing, and are IAMPO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials) approved.”

  • Bob

    Blame someone else for your own weakness. If she is that much of an invalid have a life alert button or a caregiver. Better yet move into assisted living. Why bother when some moron of a lawyer will take the case and sue a good company.

    • Kenny

      I agree, Bob, these jackpot law suits need to stop. No cash payout!

      • millezille

        What? Jackpot? Does anyone even read anymore? She was trapped for 30 hours. In WATER because the drain chain broke and there was no way to pull it out. She’s seeking for damages. Do you understand what damages mean? The tub is faulty. That’s $12,000 right there. It’s a custom-built tub so it’ll also cost money to get a new tub and refit it. Then she probably needed minor medical treatment. Add it up and she walks away without a profit.

    • chitowngirl

      You do not have to be “unstable” to have an accident like this. My mother is not even 70 yet, but she has problems with both of her knees. When she fell last year she had a very hard time getting up, and she is a totally “with it” senior who lives alone and still goes out and takes cruises and flies to Vegas, etc.. She is just a bit handicapped by her knees. So because she fell and almost couldn’t get up, she should be in assisted living? This poor elderly woman was trapped in water for 30 hours, and sat in her own bodily waste (it’s not like you can hold it for 30 hours). Her skin probably WAS damaged, not to mention the emotional trauma of it. She isn’t suing for millions. She’s suing mostly for the cost of the tub installation, probably to get a NEW (different) tub installed and for the cost of medical expenses. 50K really isn’t that unreasonable when you factor in those things. I generally don’t think people should sue, so I agree with you there. In this case though, I think she has a right. Why don’t you sit in your own body waste for over a day and see how you feel about it afterward?

      • Typical

        $50k as you say may be reasonable. However, we don’t know how much she is suing for. It’s more likely that the court she sued in is one that has a “$50k minimum.” For all we know, she could be suing for hundreds of thousands, which is much more likely. Lawsuits like these usually settle for 3-5 times the cost of the medical bills plus whatever pain and suffering/emotional distress she is claiming.

        What most likely is that it is the lawyer convinced her to sue when she called in for a consultation. He takes it on contingency and she has nothing to lose. Happens every day in Chicago many times over.

    • Arjay

      Way to show your compassion Bob! Hope you have plenty of people to care for you when you become old and more miserable than you already are. D-bag!

      • millezille

        You’re a moron, Bob. Premier Baths is a company that makes walk in tubs specifically for limited mobility, seniors, handicapped and people suffering from debilitating conditions. The whole point of the tub is to not get stuck or hurt. She paid $12,000 for a faulty tub with a stopper that broke after the second use. She has every right to sue.

  • Arjay

    A similar thing happened to my mother although she was not trapped for several hours. She did fall in the bathroom and although she was not handicapped in any way, she fell in a manner such that her legs were pinned under her. Luckily I live nearby and she took her cell phone into the bathroom which I had been pleading with her to do. She called me in a panic and even though I have a key to her house, I had to break into the storm door,which she had also locked. For those of you who have elderly parents, a cell phone that they get in the habit of carrying at ALL times can be a life saver.

    • tommyo

      Arjay: How many people (let alone elderly) bring a cell phone INTO the tub with them? After reading this story, your solution would not have been viable unless the lady had the cellphone in the tub. I don’t know if this lady is scamming the tub company, but if the chain on the drain plug broke during only the second use, she probably has a case. Don’t call Bob a “d-bag” though – he has some valid points. The elderly can be very resistant to changes they need to make – to stay safe.

  • Bob

    I have to stick up for my comment which I still agree with. She does not need to sue the bath tub manufacturer. The tub company has done nothing wrong. I was the caregiver to someone for two years and we had some things like this happen. Where was her family, don’t they even call. By the way Arjay I am not a D-bag as you say. People need to be responsible for their actions. If she is too unstable to live alone, she or her family should plan for this type of thing or she will have a much worse accident in the future. I guess she could always sue someone else then. They bought a $ 12,000.00 tub because she obviously has some mobility issues

  • Bob

    I could lower myself and call you bleeding hearts names too. But then I would be like you – God forbid this.

  • jgloots

    Where did this “pull chain” for the drain come from? Was this a custom accessory?
    I haven’t seen a “pull chain on drain plug” since I got rid of my old ball and claw footed tub.

  • dan

    Let’s be serious, her kids who were not there to help her are the one’s that probably convinced her to sue so they could get the money when she croaks!

    • Bob

      Dan, You are wise !



  • inner_frat_boy

    Maybe she should have got Life Alert….it saves lives you know ;)

  • lar

    Dan u are spot on with your comments.

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