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Woman Injured Because Cold Stuff Isn't Supposed to Burst Into Flames

North Miami woman gets injured by appliance and gets stonewalled by retailer to pay her medical expenses.


Miami, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/07/2013 -- What’s worse than waking up in the morning from a good night’s sleep to the smell of smoke coming from your kitchen? Witnessing your mini-fridge on fire. That’s what one North Miami resident said to have happened to her in her home in Sunny Isles.

“Why should my medical expenses go unpaid because of a defective unit?” said Marina Kushner, an author. Kushner suffered from smoke inhalation and burns. Now she wants a compensation for her medical expenses. But receiving that is not going to be simple.

Kushner’s trouble began on August 27, 2011, after she purchased a Black & Decker 1.7 mini-refrigerator for $49 from the Walmart in North Miami Beach. She’d used it only for 2 weeks before this unit flamed up and caused her to be injured. “I was shock,” Kushner says, “I didn’t know that refrigerators can be dangerous. If I wasn’t home to stop the fire, I would lose everything.”

Kushner went to small claims court to sue Walmart for $5,000 to cover her medical expenses. Small claims court is designed to be a quick, inexpensive way to settle lesser legal disputes. However, after 15 months being tied up by Walmart’s lawyers, the case drags on. “Walmart offered me $250 to settle, which I found offensive. Who knew such a small claims court case would be treated like such a big deal” Kushner said.

Kushner has now been requested to appear for a deposition. “Walmart is wasting time and money—both their own and mine, but I am not going to give up,” Kushner said as she continues to struggle with the flashbacks of that day.

This isn’t the first time a Black & Decker appliance had caught on fire. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it announced to recall of 67,000 Black & Decker chest freezers over a potential fire hazard. The Black & Decker brand freezers were sold exclusively at Walmart from January 2010 through September 2010.

Contact: Marina Kushner
Telephone: 305-814-2088
Case No.: 2012-40-SP-24