GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – A California company and a retailer are denying responsibility for injuries suffered by a Michigan furniture executive who hurt his back when a chair collapsed.

Menards and U.S. Furniture Inc. say David Miller’s injuries may have been caused by his own negligence in using the chair. Miller filed a lawsuit seeking more than $75,000 after tumbling to the floor when a chair leg snapped as he reached for a pencil during a staff meeting at Grand Rapids Chair in 2012.

Menards sold the chair, which was marketed by U.S. Furniture. Both companies filed a joint response this week to Miller’s lawsuit in Grand Rapids federal court.

Miller, who bought the chair to study its properties, said sharp pain in his lower back prevented him from continuing to serve as president of Grand Rapids Chair. But Attorney Matthew Tompkins, who is representing the defendants, told the Grand Rapids Press that his clients are not to blame.

“The sole cause of (Miller’s) injuries were the negligence and/or subsequent intervening negligence of plaintiff’s employee and/or co-employees who assembled or assisted in the assembly of the subject chair,” Tompkins said.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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