Senate minority leader Harry Reid was working out in his bathroom on New Year's Day when the exercise band he was using either broke or slipped out of his hand, causing him to fall and hit his face on a cabinet, according to a lawsuit Reid and his wife filed Tuesday against the makers of the Thera-Band. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the lawsuit claims the 75-year-old senator's mishap with the exercise band left him with blindness in his right eye, a disfigured face, broken orbital bones, broken ribs, a concussion, cuts, and scarring. According to the AP, Reid and his wife, Landra Gould, are seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
The lawsuit was filed against three companies responsible for making and marketing the Thera-Band: Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co., the Hygenic Corp., and Performance Health LLC, the Review-Journal reports. The lawsuit claims those companies knew the band could potentially injure users, especially the elderly, even when securely mounted and didn't do enough to warn consumers. According to the lawsuit, Reid may have been more careful had the packaging contained some warning of the dangers. Reid's experience with the Thera-Band is also indirectly responsible for his decision not to run for reelection in 2016, the Review-Journal reports. He says the accident left him with plenty of time to think, during which he settled on leaving the Senate after nearly 30 years.