Nike sued over diabetic's foot infection

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Jul 7, 2009

MARSHALL � Suffering from a diabetic condition that causes a lack of feeling in his extremities, James Gotcher failed to notice a large laceration on his foot which later became infected.

Gotcher alleges his injury was caused by a piece of metal that was molded into his Nike shoe.

Along with his wife, Joyce, Gotcher filed a product liability suit against Nike Inc. on June 30 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the complaint, his wife purchased the Nike high-top basketball shoes on sale in January 2008 but that Gotcher did not wear the shoes until he went fishing in June. Although it was his first time to wear the shoes, Gotcher wore them all day and evening for two days.

The lawsuit states that Gotcher came home late on the first day and did not take off his socks until the following evening after another long day of fishing. When he removed his socks, his wife discovered a large cut on the bottom of his foot.

According to the lawsuit, she then checked his shoe and felt a sharp object protruding from inside the sole of the shoe. The plaintiffs believe that the object might be the head of a sheet metal screw and that it did not originate from the outside of the shoe, but had possibly been molded into the shoe's sole.

The plaintiffs state that the shoe was not reasonably fit and was unreasonably dangerous for its intended purpose due to a manufacturing defect.

Further, the plaintiffs believe that during the normal and ordinary use of the shoes, the risk of danger and injury was "entirely foreseeable to and well-known to the Defendant."

Causes of action filed against Nike include products liability and breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, medical expenses to treat the resulting infection on his foot, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of care, support, services and consortium

Longview attorneys N. Eric Cooper and Craig L. Bass of the law firm Bass and Cooper LLP are representing the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs are requesting a jury trial.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:2009cv00207

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