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Vacuum sucks out Libertyville woman's hair, lawsuit claims
By Sheila Ahern | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/24/2010 4:25 PM

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A Libertyville woman is suing the maker of a vacuum, claiming the attachment hose sucked her hair right out of her scalp in August 2009.

Terri Washburn Gattone was using the hose to clean the carpet under her bed when it broke, said her attorney, Thomas A. Reed.

"The attachment tube broke right apart and as soon as it did, there was a tremendous sucking that took her hair right into the machine," said Reed, of Chicago. "Her hair was ripped right out by the roots."

Reed filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court Northern District on Friday against the Kirby Co. of Cleveland. He is suing for at least $100,000.

The complaint states that the Kirby vacuum was defective and "negligent in design," Reed said.

Representatives from the Kirby Co. could not be reached on Saturday. Washburn Gattone referred all questions to Reed.

After the vacuum broke, Washburn Gattone was rushed to the emergency room and later released, Reed said. He declined to go into further detail about his client's injuries in case the complaint goes to trial, he said.

Washburn Gattone owned the upright vacuum for several years before the attachment broke, Reed said.

"She never had any problem before August," he said.

The Kirby Co. dates back to the 1920s and today sells vacuums in 70 countries.