A Walmart customer has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the retail giant’s Mainstay candles possess a serious defect that can cause them to explode or become engulfed in flames.
The Walmart Mainstays candle class action was filed by Shelby Ellebracht who says she purchased a Mainstays candle from a Walmart in Missouri in February 2018.
According to the customer, on Feb. 12, 2018, she lit the candle and burned it on her bathroom counter in a safe manner.
Allegedly, the candle began to burn with unusually high flames after being lit for under an hour, and soon exploded.
According to Ellebracht, she was physically injured by the candle. She says that her injuries were caused by a defect in the design or manufacturing in the candle.
Ellebracht states that Mainstays is a Walmart house brand, so she aims to hold Walmart accountable for her injuries. In her view, the company knew or should have known that the Mainstays candles were defective and could cause injuries, but sold them nonetheless. She asserts that Walmart put profits ahead of customer safety.
The Walmart class action lawsuit claims that when the candle burst into flames, the customer was using it safely. Ellebracht stresses that the candle was not touching anything other than the counter it was sitting on, nor were there any loose objects around the candle.
She says that there were not open windows or drafts in the bathroom, and that the faucet of the sink was neither running nor dripping. Because of this, Ellebracht argues that the problem she experienced with the candle was not caused by an environmental factor within her control.
The Walmart candle lawsuit goes on to state that Ellebracht had burned her candle for less than one hour — a safe amount of time — before it burned in an out-of-control, abnormal fashion.
She says that the candle became “engulfed” in flames that were not just coming from the wick, but seemed to come from the entire surface area of the wax.
Ellebracht recounts that quickly, the candle’s flames were tall enough that they blackened the ceiling with soot.
According to the Walmart class action lawsuit, she was worried that the candle would start a house fire, so she pushed the candle into the sink. It exploded into the sink, causing flaming wax to explode throughout the bathroom, the plaintiff says.
Going on to explain that Ellebracht was allegedly injured in the incident, the Mainstays candle class action lawsuit says that when the candle exploded, flaming wax hit Ellebracht. Allegedly, this caused her injuries in the form of a second degree burn on her right thigh.
The burn reportedly required initial medical treatment for the burn itself, and follow-up treatment from an infection that Ellebracht says was caused by the burn. The Walmart class action lawsuit claims that she incurred medical costs because of the burn, and lost time from work and school to recover.
She says the experienced permanent injury, in the form of scarring, and photosensitivity to the scar. This photosensitivity inconveniences her, she claims, forcing her to cover her leg, which interferes with some of her favorite activities, including swimming and boating.
Aside from physical injures, Ellebracht asserts that she has suffered financially from her purchase, in the form of medical bills, damage to her bathroom, lost wages, and the amount paid for the candle itself.
In filing the Walmart lawsuit, Ellebracht asks the court to award compensatory damages for her injuries, as well as any other damages the court sees fit. Ellebracht seeks damages not only for herself, but for all other customers who purchased the candles.
Even if other customers were not injured by the candles, she says that all customers who purchased the candles were financially injured by Walmart, because if they had known that the candle possessed a dangerous defect, they likely would not have purchased the candle or would not have paid as much for it.
To support the claim that other customers had similar experiences, the Walmart candle class action lawsuit asserts that multiple customers have contacted Walmart about issues they had with the Mainstays candles, including accounts much like Ellebracht’s.
Have you ever purchased a product that you believed possessed a dangerous defect? Share your experience in the comments below.
Ellebracht is represented by A. Scott Waddell of Waddell Law Firm LLC, Eric S. Playter and Chris R. Playter of Playter & Playter LLC, and Jack D. McInnes of McInnes Law LLC.
The Walmart Mainstays Candle Dangerous Defect Class Action Lawsuit is Shelby Ellebracht v. Walmart Inc., Case No. 4:20-cv-00361, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
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