Zinus Mattress Lawsuit and Legal Challenges

The Zinus “Green Tea Mattress,” one of Amazon’s bestselling products, is celebrated for its affordability and high ratings. However, it has also become the center of a significant health hazard controversy.

A proposed class-action lawsuit against Zinus, a South Korean company, alleges that its mattresses pose serious health risks due to the release of flame-resistant fiberglass fibers. This article provides details of the Zinus mattress lawsuit and its outcomes.

Zinus Mattress Lawsuit

In July 2022, Vanessa Gutierrez (a California woman) filed a class-action lawsuit in Sacramento. Likewise, thousands of Zinus mattress consumers claim they have suffered health problems from the fiberglass used in them. Gutierrez purchased a Zinus mattress for her daughter on Amazon for $400.

However, the fiberglass exposure resulted in nearly $20,000 in damages, including medical bills. Unexpectedly, her four-year-old daughter sustained visible scars on her chest and calves due to the exposure. She represented as many as 2,000 Americans whose health was compromised as a result of Zinus mattress fiberglass exposure. She said:

“The baby got the worst of it. I believed she was overactive, but it was due to the searing sensation. It looked like small paper cuts on the back of her legs.”

Vanessa further claimed that she never removed the outer cover as per instructions. Nevertheless, it caused redness, itchiness, and pain to her kids. Before this, Zinus was also sued by Amanda Chandler and Robert Durham. The mattress these people bought had a tag that said “62% Glass Fibers,” and it had a zipper. They were never told that removing the outer cover would release fiberglass dust into the air and pose a health risk.

Zinus Mattress Lawsuit

Legal Reasons for Filing Lawsuit

The legal reasons for filing Zinus mattress lawsuit include:

  • Design defect
  • Fraudulent concealment
  • Gross negligence
  • Failure to warn
  • Unjust enrichment
  • Breach of implied warranty

It has been observed that the Zinus mattresses now come with locked zippers. An additional sewn-in label informed customers not to remove the protective outer cover. However, the cover did not offer instructions about what people would get into if they removed it.

In the  FAQ section of the Zinus website, under the topic “Can I wash my Zinus mattress cover?”. You will come across ambiguous words, none of which provide true hazard information. In actuality, there is only one mention: “The mattress cover isn’t washable, and removing it may disrupt the fire safety barrier, so please always leave the cover on.”

If you visit their warranty policy website, you’ll discover one sentence referencing fiberglass. “Removal of the cover will expose the protective fire barrier and may cause exposure to glass fiber.”  We now know that fiberglass leaks can cause various health problems. In addition, all products containing fiberglass must carry a visible warning sign describing these health concerns.

Health Concerns and Consumer Safety

Now let us discuss health concerns related to Fiberglass used in Zinus mattresses. It is a mixture of plastic and glass. It can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. However, the type used in flame-retardant barriers is generally not considered hazardous for long-term health.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that most complaints about fiberglass exposure occurred when the outer mattress cover was removed or damaged. If the cover remains intact, exposure is expected to be minimal.

Company and Agency Responses

Zinus defended its use of fiberglass. The manufacturer stated that it is typical in the mattress industry and is not deemed dangerous by the CPSC. On the contrary, the lawsuit brought to light significant consumer concerns and experiences.

The company further claimed that the Zinus queen-sized Green Tea memory foam mattress is a bestseller on Amazon. It has received over 4.4 stars from approximately 130,000 reviewers. Hence, the mattress became a focal point for safety concerns.

According to Zinus, the mattress firm no longer uses fiberglass; instead, “newly manufactured Zinus mattresses use a carbon-rayon sleeve.”

Professional Remediation and Risks

A study by California’s Department of Public Health, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in February, found that fiberglass fibers could pose a risk if the mattress cover’s zipper is opened. James Radcliffe is a personal injury lawyer with Cueto Law. He emphasized the widespread impact, stating that the issue has “ravaged thousands of individuals’ lives across the United States.”

Another study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health stated that “Fiberglass is a known respiratory, skin, and eye irritant as well as an asthmagen.” The research also found that ” The use of fiberglass and other chemicals in mattress covers offers a possible health concern if these compounds are not properly contained.”

In a 2020 lawsuit, Illinois couple Amanda Chandler and Robert Durham reported severe contamination in their home due to fiberglass from a Zinus mattress. Consequently, it resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and over $20,000 in remediation costs.

Zinus Mattress Lawsuit

Warning to Consumers and Retailer Responses

Zinus mattresses come with instructions warning customers not to remove the outer cover to protect the fire barrier. Some Amazon reviewers shared their experiences. Moreover, they warned others not to unzip the cover. One purchaser described unleashing an “invisible fiberglass storm” into their house.

Amazon has stated that customer safety is a top priority and is investigating the case thoroughly. As of March 2020, Walmart and other retailers were initially named in the lawsuit. It was also reported that later in June 2020, they dismissed the claims.

Settlement and Compensation

In the summer of 2023, the Zinus mattress lawsuit was settled. After a two-day mediation session, the parties filed a Notice of Settlement with the court on April 26, 2023. They requested an extension until 26 June 2023, to finish the settlement details.

Ultimately, the judge agreed to this request. The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed from federal court on August 25, 2023. However, the settlement details were not disclosed in the court documents.

Read also: Vegamour Lawsuit Explained

Bottom Line

The Zinus mattress lawsuit highlights the potential risks of fiberglass in consumer products. The company now uses a carbon-rayon sleeve in newly manufactured mattresses. However, the legal and health issues for affected consumers are still developing.

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