An Edmonton woman is suing Lululemon Athletica Canada Inc. for nearly $150,000, alleging she suffered an eye injury after getting hit in the face by a metal-tipped draw cord while wearing a jacket she bought from the Canadian apparel company.
Patricia Beaulieu filed a statement of claim with Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in late November, alleging that on July 19, 2009, she was trying to get something from a pallet while shopping at a Costco store in Edmonton when the elastic, metal-tipped draw cord on her jacket became caught and then snapped back into her left eyeball. Beaulieu alleges she suffered serious injury as a result, including a 2.7 mm by 2.7 mm corneal abrasion and traumatic hyphema to her left eye.
She claims that in addition to enduring pain and suffering caused by the injury, she should also be compensated for loss of income, earning and housekeeping capacity, care costs and out-of-pocket expenses. All together, she is seeking $147,193 from the company best known for its yoga clothing.
The government of Alberta, also named as a plaintiff in the suit, is seeking to have Lululemon pay more than $2,000 in hospital and practitioner costs, plus interest.
Beaulieu argues that Lululemon was “negligent” in three aspects of the jacket’s design, including the use of elastic material for a cord that hangs near the wearer’s face, the use of a metal tip on the draw cord, and failing to use other, safer draw cord material when there was “little or no advantage to using elastic and the risk of harm was obvious, foreseeable and easily preventable.”
In her statement of claim, Beaulieu said the jacket she bought was one of the models subject to a Health Canada recall last year. In June 2015, a recall for a number of jackets and sweaters that had elastic draw cords with hard metal or plastic tips in the neck area was issued after reports of five consumer injuries in Canada and one in the United States. The recall described the trouble with the jackets as being that the elastic could be pulled or caught something, and then snap back, hitting the wearer in the face. More than 300,000 of the jackets were sold, most before 2014.
The allegations contained in a statement of claim have not been proven in court. Lululemon had not filed a statement of defence by press time.
Lululemon was founded in Vancouver in 1998. It has retail locations across Canada and around the world, including four stores in Edmonton.