"I was on the back deck cleaning up my hanging plants," says Judy. "I'd placed the four lamps one in each corner. I lifted one of them to get to a plant and the whole ceramic top rolled off and landed on my foot. I was in total pain.
"They weigh about 20 lbs and fell from about six feet up. The top rolled, fell off the deck and broke. That's when I realized that the glue keeping the top on had come unglued so I checked every one of them and they were all like that. I'd lit the lamps the night before and one other time but nothing happened until this time. What if it had fallen, spilt the oil and burned me or caused a fire?"
"They were a gift from my son," Judy says. "He said he was supposed to tell me there was a recall but he didn't realize it would injure me before he could tell me."
Sam's Club had announced a safety recall of the Wal-Mart imported lamps in August 2007, a month and a half before Judy's accident, citing the possible dislodging of the ceramic top that could lead to cuts, fires, or burn injuries.
"At first we didn't send them back because we'd have to pay the shipping and all the costs. I tried to track it down online but I couldn't figure out where to send it. It was bought at Sam's Club but it was a Wal-Mart product, a Wal-Mart ceramic oil lamp. Being sold at Sam's Club made it very hard to track.
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"When it hit my right foot I knew it had broken two toes," says Judy, "but I didn't go to the doctor because from previous experience I know they can't do anything for broken toes--it's all cartilage. So I wrapped my foot and took a couple days off work, hobbling around. I could wear shoes after three days but it took at least two weeks to heal.
"I would like to get payment back for those lamps. They're worth about $89.00. And compensation for the three days I had to take off work. And for my pain and suffering.
"Anybody out there thinking of buying one of these Sam's Club Outdoor Torch Lamps, don't!"