Zinus, Inc. is among the defendants in a proposed class action that claims some of the company’s mattresses can release large amounts of glass fibers, included in the product by law for fire retardant purposes, into the surrounding environment, potentially resulting in life-threatening injury.
The 29-page complaint’s filing comes in the wake of a news report televised on KMOV4 in St. Louis titled “Hidden Hazards” that focused on “the danger lurking in your mattress.” The report centered on two consumers whose child’s Zinus mattress released “extremely large amounts of dangerous glass fiber” that caused serious and potentially life-threatening injuries and “destroy[ed] thousands of dollars of stuff and [their] whole life,” the lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit, which also names as defendants retailers Amazon.com, eBay, Target, Walmart and Wayfair, glass fibers can exit a Zinus mattress when the removable outer cover is unzipped. The exposed inner cover, which contains a large percentage of glass fibers, can release the fibers into the surrounding environment if the cover is ripped, the case claims.
Once in the environment, the glass fibers found in a Zinus mattress can disperse through the air and into a home’s HVAC system, essentially attaching to anything they touch, the suit says. Exposure to glass fibers may cause skin, eye and upper respiratory tract irritation, and can become embedded in the skin and require surgical removal, according to the suit. The case adds that it can cost thousands to clean a home exposed to glass fibers.
The plaintiffs say they purchased a Zinus mattress that came with a removable outer cover equipped with a zipper and a tag that read in part “62% Glass Fibers.” The product did not come with a warning that the removable outer cover should not be removed, the suit says, nor that removing the outer cover may expose the inner glass fibers or cause injury.
One of the plaintiffs claims she removed the outer cover of the Zinus mattress to clean it in the washing machine in late January 2020. While the mattress was uncovered, however, she and her co-plaintiff’s sons allegedly “had fun” jumping on the mattress, located in her young son’s bedroom.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s husband awoke early the next morning and discovered his skin was very irritated and extremely itchy. At some point that same day, the case says, the plaintiff discovered “his whole body was covered with little, hard-to-see shards of glass.” Also that same day, according to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ sons “began to scream and cry hysterically because their whole bodies itched,” as they were similarly covered in tiny glass shards. The plaintiffs allegedly realized their home and many things around the house were “blanketed with the same little shards of glass.”
The lawsuit alleges that Zinus knew of the glass shard-releasing defect for more than eight months. Eight months prior to the plaintiffs’ incident, the complaint says, Zinus responded to a customer’s question on whether the outer cover can be washed by saying, “Our mattresses are self-contained wonder delivery systems! Removing the mattress cover could jeopardize that system. The mattress cover isn’t washable, and removing it could inhibit the fire safety barrier, so please always leave the cover on.”