Melissa is a 33-year-old legal secretary living in one of California's foremost suburbs. She is currently single and has a 7-year-old daughter who lives with her and spends weekends and at least a few vacations a year with her father in Iowa. She works hard to give her daughter Danielle the best she can possibly afford, and she's managed to put some money away that she hopes will give her daughter a chance at a proper college education when the time comes.
For her daughter's next birthday, she decides to chip into her savings fund to buy her daughter something special. She decides on a bicycle. She's recently taken up exercise herself, and a bicycle would be a great way for her and her daughter to cycle around the block. Plus, her daughter has shown more of an interest in sport and she thinks that it could make an ideal gift.
She does some research on the internet to find the right bicycle for her daughter. After checking out a few different models, she settles for a mountain bike from one of the world's leading sports bike manufacturers. If her daughter is going to take up sport, she deserves to do it with one of the best models on the market – and as a plus, this bike is adjustable and can be altered to fit both younger kids and full-sized adults.
Eagerly, she places her order for the bike and waits for it to arrive.
Danielle is just as excited about the new bike as Melissa thought she would be.
Melissa adjusts the bike according to the instructions, gives it a try herself and then hands it over to her daughter for a test drive. The unthinkable happens when Danielle makes it a few feet down the road before falling down in extreme pain.
Melissa rushes over to see what happened: The frame of the bike has snapped clean in two, and her daughter has sustained a severe injury from the resulting steel spike.
She rushes her daughter straight to the emergency room, forgetting about the faulty bike that caused it in the midst of the chaos.
The injury requires immediate stitches, and the doctor says that they can count themselves very lucky: If the spike had gone a few inches to the right, it would have gone through an artery and could have been potentially fatal.
After the stitches have been removed, Danielle complains of intense pain in her left leg and her parents schedule another appointment. When tests are done, it shows that the initial injury is worse than initially thought: It left a hairline fracture on the bone that could lead to problems later.
The doctor diagnosis Danielle with osteomyelitis. She has picked up a severe infection that has spread to the bone. More tests are needed, but the doctor recommends that the process starts with a course of antibiotics.
Melissa tries to track down the company that sold her the bike to hold them accountable. They offer to refund the money she paid for the bike, but say that they aren't able to offer the family anything else. She doesn't feel like this is fair, but considers her child's health more important and later gives up any thoughts of pursuing the matter further when the company starts to ignore her phone calls and e-mails.
Even though the antibiotics take care of the worst of the infection, Danielle never walks the same again after the accident takes place – and the injuries caused to the muscle are likely to cause her pain and discomfort for the rest of her life.
Defective product law firms specialize in helping people who have sustained injuries in similar incidents.