South Florida

After air freshener explodes, woman sues manufacturer and Sam’s Club

A patron of Sam’s Club (pictured here in a stock photo provided by the company) is suing, saying she was sold a defective air freshener that exploded, sending glass and chemicals into her eye.
A patron of Sam’s Club (pictured here in a stock photo provided by the company) is suing, saying she was sold a defective air freshener that exploded, sending glass and chemicals into her eye. Sam’s Club

In a federal lawsuit filed this week, a Florida woman claims she suffered grave injuries when an Air Wick air freshener exploded, spraying glass and aromatic chemicals directly into her right eye.

The federal lawsuit was filed this week against Sam’s Club — the woman bought the product at a store in Miramar — and Reckitt Benckiser, the company that manufactures Air Wick fresheners.

The claim, filed by Linda and Todd Walton of Pembroke Pines, argues that the companies should have known the product was defective and “unreasonably dangerous.” The suit says the explosion occurred in February, eight months after buying the product, as she was removing one of the glass containers from a cardboard-and-plastic packaging.

The company sells various models of air fresheners that are glass containers with the smell-good chemicals inside. The lawsuit did not specify the scent of the freshener that exploded.

AirWick
A customer claims that Air Wick air freshener, similar to ones pictured here for sale on Walmart.com, exploded and injured her eye with glass and chemicals. Walmart owns Sam’s Club, which is being sued by the plaintiff. Walmart.com

Walton, 56, suffered “significant bodily injuries, resulting in pain and suffering,” according to the suit filed by lawyer Andrew Knopf.

A Sam’s Club spokesperson declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation. Reckitt Benckiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither had lawyers listed in court documents.

It’s not the first time Reckitt Benckiser’s aroma products have been the subject of a lawsuit.

Earlier this year, a class action lawsuit was filed in New York against the company, alleging Air Wick aerosol sprays don’t actually eliminate odors like its marketing claims. The litigation is ongoing.

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