Jury finds razor company not guilty in student’s death

By Sarah Novicoff

A federal jury ruled Friday that the manufacturer of an electric razor was not responsible for the death of Ishan Bose-Pyne ’12. The jury found Wahl Clipper Cor­poration not guilty of a manufacturing defect or negligence in design and gave the Bose-Pyne family no financial compensation.

The lawsuit was filed on July 22 of last year by his mother, Shonali Bose. The trial began Aug. 28 with the swearing in of seven jurors (one of whom was later dis­missed by a doctor’s note) and the opening statements from both sides. The 10 alle­gations listed include product liability, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death, breach of express and implied warranty.

According to the lawsuit and reports filed on the night of the incident, Bose-Pyne emerged from his bathroom with his shirt engulfed in flames.

There were no lighters or matches found, and on the night of the incident the razor was not eliminated as a cause of the burns. Bose-Pyne was later admitted to the Los An­geles County-USC Burn Cen­ter where he was treated for third-degree burns and died of an infection 11 days later on Sept. 13.

The lawsuit also alleges that in the past eight years Wahl has recalled at least nine defective products for various reasons, including the risk of possible electric shock, injury to the user, and overheating or fire.

The lawsuit said that “the Wahl Clipper label and pack­age insert does not provide an adequate warning about the increased risk of serious injury and/or death from the clipper.”

The plaintiffs filed eight pieces of evidence in their ini­tial report, including a Sep­tember 2010 article from the Chronicle with quotes from teachers and administrators about the influence his life and death had on the community.

U.S. District Court Judge Margaret M. Morrow presid­ed over the trial in the Roybal Courthouse.

The lawyers for the plain­tiffs are Arnold Peter and Marcus Lee of Peter Law Group, while the lawyer for the defendants is Warren Gil­bert of Hosp, Gilbert, Berg­sten, and Hough.

The suit initially contained charges against Target Corpo­ration, the company that sold the malfunctioning razor, but the charges were dismissed in March.