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Tessica Vs. Gorilla Glue

Last week, 40-year-old Tessica Brown of Louisiana revealed on social media that a month ago, she ran out of her trusty Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray, a hair spray so strong, Pauly D and his immovable coif vouch for it. When Brown hit empty, she decided to seal her style with Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive instead, a permanent, moisture-resistant, heavy-duty adhesive not meant to be a beauty product. 

What do our Attorneys think?

We have all heard of the TicToker Tessica Brown who intentionally Gorilla Glued her hair and ended up in the hospital after using their product.  Although this took place in Louisiana for the exercise below we are going to assume took place in California.  Therefore, we will use the California rules regarding Negligence and Manufacturer’s or Supplier’s Duty to Warn. 

 

Here, Brown applies spray on Gorilla Glue to her hair.  Brown then proceeds to narrate on TicTock the unfortunate event that led to what she calls a "forever ponytail." "When I do my hair, I like to finish it off with Got 2B Glue Spray. You know, just to keep it in place. Well, I don't have anymore Got 2B Glue Spray, so I used this," she said, holding up a bottle of Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive. "Gorilla Glue Spray. Bad, bad, bad idea."  A quick google search yields a myriad of uses for Gorilla glue all having to do house hold repairs and arts and crafts. 

 

This article will be 1 part legal analysis and 2 parts humorous and this particular story is both sad and funny.

 

What isn’t funny is Brown’s hair removal procedure of cost 12.5K.

 

 

R U L E S

 

Brown claims that Gorilla Glue was negligent by not using reasonable care to warn about the Gorilla Glue Spray’s dangerous condition or about facts that made the Gorilla Glue Spray likely to be dangerous. To establish this claim, Brown must prove all of the following:

  1. That Gorilla Glue manufactured, distributed, and sold the Gorilla Glue Spray,

  2. That Gorilla Glue knew or reasonably should have known that the Gorilla Glue Spray was dangerous or was likely to be dangerous when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable manner;

  3. That Gorilla Glue knew or reasonably should have known that users would not realize the danger;

  4. That Gorilla Glue failed to adequately warn of the danger or instruct on the safe use of the Gorilla Glue Spray.

  5. That a reasonable manufacturer/distributor/seller under the same or similar circumstances would have warned of the danger or instructed on the safe use of the Gorilla Glue Spray;

  6. That Brown was harmed; and that Gorilla Glue’s failure to warn or instruct was a substantial factor in causing Brown’s harm.

  7. If the elements above are fulfilled then Gorilla Glue is arguably liable for a failure to warn consumers about the use of Gorilla Glue Spray (Spray).

 

A N A L Y S I S

 

Did Gorilla Glue manufacture, distribute, and sell Gorilla Glue Spray?  
Here, Gorilla Glue manufacturers, distributes, and sells Gorilla Glue Spray internationally.  Gorilla Glue is domiciled in Ohio.  Furthermore, Gorilla Glue advertises the Spray and has several videos of the use of the spray on their web site, with links of where to buy the Spray.  Therefore, Gorilla Glue is the manufacturer, distributor, and seller of Gorilla Glue spray.

Did Gorilla Glue know or reasonably should have known that the Gorilla Glue Spray was dangerous or was likely to be dangerous when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable manner?

Here Gorilla Glue knew that their product was toxic and dangerous.  Gorilla Glue has a long list on their product data sheet with first aid measures.  However, the front of the label says “multi purpose” with language that says, “Wood, Metal, Fabric, Foam, Plastic, Paper, Glass, Leather, and More!” On the one hand, no body parts are listed in the set of the items listed above.   On the other hand, the term “More” can mean a lot of things.  Furthermore, Gorilla Glue is not marketed or sold as a hair product.  Anecdotally, whenever I needed a glue or spray on glue we generally find this in the stationary sections or crafts sections of most stores.  Although, I personally do not believe it was foreseeable that the Spray would be used on hair.  Gorilla Glue does not help their case by leaving the label open with the term “More!” I think that is a stretch and I don’t think it is foreseeable that this product that is used as a crafting bonding spray would be used on a human scalp or human hair attached to that scalp. 

 

That Gorilla Glue knew or reasonably should have known that users would not realize the danger.  
Here, it seems that a reasonable user of a super glue or adhesive glue that is mostly found in crafts and hardware stores would not be used on human hair attached to a human scalp.  Although, we can see a myriad of pranks and misuse of super glues and Gorilla Glues on social media – I do not think it would be reasonable for a manufacturer in this field to know that somebody would actually use it like a hair product.  For the most part, I think most users of this particular kind of adhesive, simply would not apply it to their hair.  The product is also to be used in the creative sense – using it on your hair would definitely help you create a few new hair styles.  Therefore, kind of a toss up when thinking of all the range of human behavior and interpretive uses of the product that would be dangerous.

 

That Gorilla Glue failed to adequately warn of the danger or instruct on the safe use of the Gorilla Glue Spray.  
Here, there are several warnings on the Spray bottle telling users not to place it on their skin, eyes, or to ingest the Spray.  On the one hand, one can argue that this does not specifically say hair.  On the other hand, I think a reasonable person reading this label, or searching for uses of the Spray, or finding it at a local hardware store would know not to use this as a hair product.  It would be impossible for labels to be completely exhaustive of all the dangers to a product.  Also, all marketing material and instructions of the use of the product show it be used around the house and not on your body.  Therefore, Gorilla Glue did not fail to adequately warn of the danger or fail to instruct on the safe use of the Spray. 

 

 

That a reasonable manufacturer/distributor/seller under the same or similar circumstances would have warned of the danger or instructed on the safe use of the Gorilla Glue Spray.  
Here, a civil litigator could research or take a sample of all the similar products in this field and see if the labels included hair or warnings to not use this product as a hair product.  In short, Gorilla Glue’s defense team would need to research similar products like 3M, SuperGlue, Loctite, etc., to see if they have any warnings about their spray adhesives being used as hair products.  I have no conclusion here but I would wager to guess that most of these companies do not have warnings about use of their product as a hair product.

 

 

That Brown was harmed; and that Gorilla Glue’s failure to warn or instruct was a substantial factor in causing Brown’s harm.  
Here, Brown could not remove the Spray product from her scalp despite trying all kinds of home remedies.  Furthermore, this required a surgery to remove her hair.  Gorilla Glue did not have a warning specific regarding the Spray to be used as a hair product.  Brown applied the Spray to her hair and it was the substantial factor in her need to have a surgery.  Furthermore, I am not sure it can be argued that if Brown found or ordered this spray and diligently read reviews and the uses of the spray that she may have ended up using it anyway.  In summary, I would argue that all the Gorilla Glue warnings in the world would not have stopped Brown from using the adhesive. 

D A M A G E S

 

12.5 K for the surgery + pain and suffering - If I were Brown's attorney you may want to go at least 3 times to maybe 6 times medical damages if you felt that the Spray caused her permanent damages.  

 

Therefore, Gorilla Glue Spray’s warnings where adequate and the use of the Spray on a human hair still attached to a human body were not a reasonable foreseeable use of the product.

In closing, what makes the law fun is taking this odd fact pattern and running with it.  I personally do not believe Brown could prevail on the standard mentioned above.  However, it would not surprise that if Brown did sue that she could get a settlement or at least have hair added to the warning label.  Lastly, for all those that use hair products, suffice it to say - stick to the products found in the hair care section of the super market.

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