GOOSE CREEK -- Three years ago, Cherrill Bennett bought a black bra at a local Walmart, put it on and thought nothing of it.
But later that night when she took it off, something odd was left behind, she said: a dark discoloration on her skin tracing exactly where the bra had clung to her shoulders.
"It fit perfectly under where the straps were," her lawyer, Jarrel Wigger of North Charleston, said in an interview Wednesday. The markings "stopped right where the cup was."
An odd product performance lawsuit was filed Jan. 27 at the Berkeley County Courthouse alleging the dyes used in the Hanes bra Bennett purchased were defective, allowing them to "bleed out" and stain the wearer's skin.
"As a result of this incident, plaintiff's skin discoloration is permanent and persists to date," the suit says.
Attempts to reach Bennett were unsuccessful. Her last published phone number was not working.
Wigger described his client as a light-skinned black woman. He said that while the markings have faded somewhat over the years since her February 2008 purchase, they are still present and identifiable. He called the discolorations "burnt" or dark in color.
Named as defendants in the suit are Hanesbrands Inc., Hanes Corp.,
Hanes Dye and Finishing Co., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The suit describes the bra's dye makeup as harmful, and that Bennett "could not appreciate the danger the Hanes bra posed to her."
Bennett is asking for actual and punitive damages, saying the responsible parties should have known the bra "could and would" discolor skin, "even under its anticipated use."
"Defendants, through the use of reasonable care, could have prevented the defective condition of the bra and its components," the suit says.
The named defendants have not yet filed a response. A call to Hanes seeking comment was not returned Wednesday, while an e-mail sent to Wal-Mart also was not returned, though a recorded phone message said the Arkansas-based company was operating in winter storm conditions, with smaller than normal staffing.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.
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