Customers who bought a bestselling mattress sold on Amazon and at retailers nationwide are suing the manufacturer amid claims that fiberglass fibers in the product have damaged their health.
Zinus, Inc., is fielding multiple lawsuits over its “Green Tea Mattress." Among the claims is a proposed class-action lawsuit led by a California woman who is representing several thousand people.
"It's not hyperbole to say that this has ravaged thousands of individuals' lives from across the United States," James Radcliffe, a personal injury lawyer with Cueto Law, told the Los Angeles Times.
Radcliffe's firm started a 2020 lawsuit on behalf of Amanda Chandler and Robert Durham of Illinois, who said they spent months in a hotel and paid more than $20,000 in professional mediation services after a Zinus memory foam mattress purchased at Walmart for their child contaminated their home with fiberglass in 2019.
Another woman, Vanessa Gutierrez of Los Angeles, told the Times that the mattress she bought for her 4-year-old daughter had cost her nearly $20,000 in damages and left scars from the fiberglass on the girl's chest and calves.
One reviewer on Amazon warned that they unzipped the outer cover of the mattress and "unleashed [an] invisible fiberglass storm into our house," CBS News reported.
A representative from Zinus told CBS News that the fiberglass is "standard in the mattress industry" and isn't considered hazardous by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
"Most consumer complaints about fiberglass being released from mattresses that have been reviewed by staff involved the outer cover being removed or damaged. If the outer cover remains intact, then the exposure to fiberglass particles is expected to be minimal," the CSPC told CBS News.
California's Department of Public Health conducted a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in February finding that fiberglass fibers had "a potential risk of consumer exposure if the zipper on the outer cover is opened."
Fiberglass is a less costly fire-retardant material. The queen-sized Green Tea memory foam mattress sells for about $310 on Amazon. It includes instructions warning customers not to remove the outer mattress cover, to protect the fire barrier inside, Zinus told CBS News.
Amazon did not respond to CBS News' requests for comment. Walmart did and noted that it and other retailers have been dropped from the initial lawsuit.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has more on mattresses.
SOURCES: CBS News; Los Angeles Times