CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man he sliced his hand open, causing nerve damage, when he grabbed a Love Meter off the shelves of a Market Express store.

Richard Cravens is suing the store and the product's manufacturers and distributors, Baying Great Import and Export in China and Novelty, Inc., in Kanawha Circuit Court. His lawsuit was filed Nov. 2 and seeks $500,000.

Cravens says all the defendants are engaged in the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of the Love Meter, a product that he says is a glass bottle.

"While viewing the Love Meter, Plaintiff placed the Love Meter in his hands and attempted to operate it when the product cut his right hand, causing Plaintiff suffer damages and injuries," the complaint says.

Cravens, who was a minor at the time of the alleged incident (May 4, 2004), claims to have suffered serious nerve damage to his right median nerve motor branch.

Also, Cravens says he suffered a laceration of the right hand base of the thenar eminance, severe damage to the motor branch, an incomplete lesion of the nerve in his right hand, severe embarrassment and great emotional disturbance and attendant nervous disorders.

"(Cravens) was made sick, sore and disabled and was obliged to endure great pain and suffering of body and anguish of mind," the complaint adds.

Fayetteville attorney Belinda Morton is representing the plaintiff, who also says that he lost energy, strength and the ability to enjoy life and was prevented from using his right hand for normal functions.

"The conduct on the part of Defendants was reckless and wanton in that the likelihood of harm was highly probable and that the resultant foreseeable harm could be devastating," the complaint says.

Cravens seeks compensatory and punitive damages. Judge Charles King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2325

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