Hand Model Sues Kmart, Martha Stewart for Defective Product

Posted on Dec 11, 2008

A man is suing Kmart Corp. and Martha Stewart Living after he injured his finger on a lounge chair.  The man, who is a hand model, magician and actor, claims that a Martha Stewart-branded lounge chair injured his finger and affected his livelihood.

In the lawsuit that Patrick Albanese filed, he said that he was moving a Martha Stewart Everyday loung chair on a deck in June when the front tubular legs collapsed, which crushed his right index finger between one of the chair legs and a tubular bar on the base of the chair.  His fingertip fell beneath the deck and was later found by a relative.  According to Albanese’s attorney, Guy Cook, the fingertip was later re-attached by a surgeon.

Albanese is pursing damages for past and future medical expenses, physical and mental pain and suffering, permanent partial disfigurement and loss of earning capacity.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Polk County District Court in Iowa, claims that Kmart and Martha Stewart Living were negligent in failing to issue a warning that the lounge chair was defective, for failing to inspect the lounge chair and for improper design.  Albanese’s lawsuit also alleges that the lounge chair was not sellable because it was a defective product.

No comment was given from representatives of Kmart and Martha Stewart Living.

Cook said that even though the injury had not ended Albanese’s work as a hand model, it has impacted it during his recovery.  The attorney also said that the injury has had a bigger affect on Albanese’s work as a magician.  Albanese had once served as the master of ceremonies for Hollywood’s Magic Castle for 15 years.  He still has some sensation in his fingertip, but has decreased function.

According to Cook, “(Patrick Albanese) is a very accomplished musician and as part of his work, he does various slight-of-hand tricks.”

Cook said that Albanese’s injury has affected his ability to play the banjo, which he incorporates into his act.

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