Ex-head of Grand Rapids-based chairmaker sues another furniture company after chair breaks

Jan 15, 2014

The founder of a Michigan chair company is suing another furniture company after falling out of a chair and hurting his back.

David Miller, former president of Grand Rapids Chair Company, filed a lawsuit this week against Wisconsin-based retailer Menard’s and California-based manufacturer U.S. Furniture Inc.

The lawsuit filed in Western District Court in Grand Rapids in April of last year claims  Miller was sitting on a chair at a staff meeting at his company’s offices. U.S. Furniture made the chair that he and his wife say they bought at Menard’s on 28th street. The claims says:

During the meeting, he dropped a pencil and leaned over to pick it up.

Immediately, and without warning, the right front leg of the chair snapped off, causing David Miller to fall onto the concrete floor and land directly on his tailbone.

At all relevant times, Plaintiff David Miller was using the chair in a manner consistent with its intended operation, having been correctly assembled according to the instructions that accompanied the chair.

Miller says the fall caused him medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, fright and shock, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, or mortification, disability and disfigurement. Miller claims the “extreme pain” in his lower back prevented him from continuing to serve as president of the company.

A lawsuit filed Monday in Grand Rapids federal court seeks more than $75,000.

The lawsuit accuses U.S. Furniture of making a defective chair.

This story has been updated to reflect Miller no longer serves as president.