Cypress man seeks $4M from Macy's, Mr. Heater for severe burns

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 4, 2013

HOUSTON - Cypress resident Eric Jay Robinson has filed a lawsuit alleging he was severely burned by a space heater that caught his shirt on fire two years ago. He is seeking $4 million from the maker of the heater and the retailer that sold the shirt.

Robinson and his wife are suing Mr. Heater Inc., Macy's Inc., Macy's Merchandising Group Inc. and Macy's Merchandising Group International LLC.

The suit was first filed in Harris County District Court on Dec. 21 and then transferred to the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on Jan. 30.

Court papers explain that the plaintiffs bought the Mr. Heater space heater in 2008 while Robinson's spouse purchased the John Ashford long-sleeve flannel shirt from Macy's as a Christmas present for him in December 2010.

According to the suit, Robinson was wearing the flannel shirt while he was building a boat in his family garage the night of Dec. 25, 2010.

The weather at that time was cold so he used the space heater, the suit states.

According to the original petition, the incident occurred just as Robinson was warming his hands.

"Suddenly and without warning, the John Ashford brand shirt caught on fire," the suit says.

"Mr. Robinson became immediately engulfed in flames and was severely burned."

The blaze purportedly scorched Robinson's neck, lower back and legs down to his calves, nearly killing him.

Neither the shirt or the heater carried consumer warnings, Robinson asserts.

He adds he was hospitalized for more than a month and underwent two operations.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Nicholas J. Lanza with McCormick Lanza & McNeel PC in Bellaire is representing the couple.

Case No. 4:13-CV-233

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