California model sues tampon maker after losing a leg to toxic shock syndrome

The model nearly died after contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome from her tampon

Siobhan Fenton
Friday 19 June 2015 14:27 BST
Source: Lauren Wasser/ Facebook
Source: Lauren Wasser/ Facebook (Source: Lauren Wasser/ Facebook)

A model who lost a leg to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is now suing the company who manufactured the tampons she used.

24-year-old model Lauren Wasser nearly died from TSS when she became ill in 2012.

TSS is a complication of bacterial infection which can be fatal. It can occur for a number of different reasons, but the likelihood is increased by the use of tampons as they form an environment in which bacteria can flourish internally.

The model was rushed to hospital in October 2012 after a suspected case of TSS. Her infection spread to gangrene and her right leg had to be amputated.

Wasser is now suing Kimberly-Clark, the company who own the Kotex brand tampon company which she used. The brand feature a warning on their boxes that TSS is a risk with tampon use, but Wasser says that this does not go far enough.

She told VICE that she wants the warning to be much bigger: “You know cigarettes can kill you, so when you use them, it’s your choice. Had I known about TSS, I would never have used them.”

She also argues that tampons should not be sold in their current condition if the risk of TSS is so high and has criticised companies for using the same material on tampons over the last three decades without any update in the product.

Her lawyer Hunter J. Shkolnik said: “Part of our job is to show the jury that it’s not about the warning on the box- it’s about the fact that they’ve had materials available for 30 years that could have been make [tampons] safer, and they’ve chosen not to use them.”

Kimberly-Clark have told news outlets that they do not comment on litigation issues.

The Independent has approached Kimberly-Clark for comment.

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