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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mom of girl who died in washing machine sues
Virginia woman wants $18.9 million; victim's brother charged in death

Updated: 1:28 p.m. ET Aug. 5, 2005
MARION, Va. - The mother of a 5-year-old girl who died in a coin-operated washer sued the machine’s manufacturer, saying it started up with the child inside even though no money had been put into the machine.

Rebecca Hope Wagoner was asphyxiated June 17 after the 30-pound girl became trapped inside the triple-load washer. The washer, the suit contends, “started immediately without the insertion of any coins.”

The washer requires 11 quarters to operate and will not accept coins until the heavy door is shut, officials have said. The door cannot be unlatched while the machine is operating.

Rebecca Billings Wagoner, Hope’s mother, had to use a rock to smash the door and pull her daughter out.

The mother “suffered extensive cuts ... (and) the horror of watching her young daughter die a violent death right before her eyes,” the suit said.

The suit, filed Thursday in Smyth County Circuit Court, is seeking $18.9 million. It claims Pellerin Milnor Corp. of Louisiana has had to replace more than 1,500 “failure-prone” electronic coin counters because they allowed the washer to begin when the front door was slammed shut, without the insertion of coins. The suit also names the owners of the Chilhowie Laundromat as defendants.

According to the suit, five children had become trapped in Milnor’s machines since 1986. One of the children was scalded to death, while rescuers were able to save the other children.

Jim Moran, general counsel for the manufacturer, declined to comment on the suit, saying he has not yet seen it.

Hope’s 14-year-old half brother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in her death. Officials have refused to explain the details of his alleged involvement. But in a statement issued Friday, the Wagoner family said, “Our son would never have hurt his sister” and did not have 11 quarters.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Maybe I'm insensitive, but if the damn mother was watching her child, maybe then she wouldn't have gone into the washing machine in the first place. Hey here's a thought! Instead of taking responsibility for things, if something goes wrong, LET'S SUE!!!!! Sounds like a perfectly good idea to me!
 

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SOT_II";p="70705 said:
The mother should have been arrested as well. She was responsible for her kids actions.
That's what I'm saying. And forgive me if I'm wrong but I imagine a washing machine would have a warning label (much like a dumpster) that says "Do Not Play On Or In" or something like that.
 

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How the hell did the child climb in without the mother paying any attention!!

i blame the mother.. she should have been arrested for negligence..
 

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Cinderella";p="70731 said:
How the hell did the child climb in without the mother paying any attention!!

i blame the mother.. she should have been arrested for negligence..
I've seen these triple load deals before with a little platform in front of them with a few steps.
Do the judges hearing these cases ever just ask the parents "why weren't you watching your child?"
 
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Sorry for there loss, but me and my twin brother did a lot of stupid sh*t when we where kids but we would never put one another in a public washing machine with a locking door. Nevermind the fact either our mom or dad would see to it that it was painfull to sit down for a week if we did do something that stupid. Doesn't this 14 year old have any common sense? Of course now the mom is "sue happy" like it is the companies fault your son locked his little sister in a washing machine. The son and mother should get locked up! Just my 2cents!!!
 

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Mom of girl who died in washing machine sues Virginia woman wants $18.9 million; victim's brother charged in death

Well, the headline says it all folks. "My son didn't do anything he is a perfect angel, so I will look for the deepest pockets to make a buck from!" Some ambulance chasing lawyer jumped on that pretty quick :up:

The washer requires 11 quarters to operate and will not accept coins until the heavy door is shut, officials have said. The door cannot be unlatched while the machine is operating.

If my math is correct, she owes the laundromat company $2.75 for the use of the washing machine, they do not owe her 18.9 million for her carelessness and her sons crime.

Hope's 14-year-old half brother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in her death.

Obviously the mother is using the lawsuit to divert attention from the 14 year old charged in the crime... :twisted:. Charge her too with A&B, neglegence, or similar statute. These a-holes like the lady who sued McDonalds for being stupid and spilling her own coffee and the parents who sued Walmart recently for the death of their daughter bog down the court system that is already in need of a major overhaul as it is. Big waste of time by some greedy people trying to make a millions without working for it.
 

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Um... I have seen these big washing machines and they normaly have steel drums. I would think it would take some manuvering and alot of noise to get into one. Wake up Mom!!

Now here are three questions 1. Did the washer have a stop button? 2. Was the power cord to the machine reachable? 3. Was there a emergency stop and or breaker on the wall?

I have been in laundry mats before and I have seen many machines with a stop button, I have also seen that many machines you can reach the power cord. I also know that some of these places have a circut breaker or an emergency stop within access. (much more easy than a rock)

This leads me to two conclusions A. Mom is just stupid!!! and should be found guilty on negligence B. Something is up with Mom, and she should still be found guilty.

Oh and as for the 14 year old... what the hell is wrong with him too?
 
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