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Senator Harry Reid Suing Exercise Band Maker Over Eye Injury

Reid Details Upcoming Surgery 1:31

LAS VEGAS — Sen. Harry Reid is suing a company that makes and markets a flexible exercise band that he says broke or slipped from his hand during an arm-strengthening routine on New Year's Day, causing him to fall and suffer face, rib and eye injuries.

The Senate minority leader from Nevada and his wife, Landra Gould, seek more than $50,000 in damages from Thera-Band maker Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co., The Hygenic Corp. and Performance Health LLC.

A legal representative of the company in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, didn't immediately respond Wednesday to calls for comment.

Reid's lawyer, Jim Wilkes of Florida, declined to comment beyond the 16-page civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas.

Image: Senate Legislators Speak To The Media After Their Weekly Policy Luncheons
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) listens to questions during a news conference after a meeting with Senate Democrats, on Capitol Hill, July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

It calls the elastic resistive exercise band "defective (and) unreasonably dangerous," particularly for the elderly who might have trouble gripping it without handles. It alleges negligence, liability and failure to warn consumers about "dangers that may result from the use or foreseeable misuse."

Reid, 75, underwent surgery, but he has said he lost vision in his right eye as a result of his injury.

He also suffered broken bones around his eye, fractured ribs, a concussion, cuts and bruises, the lawsuit says. It seeks damages for Landra Gould for the loss of marital consortium.

The band was mounted to "a sturdy object in the bathroom," according to the lawsuit, but it snapped while Reid pulled on it, causing him to spin around and strike his face on a cabinet at his new home in the Las Vegas area.

The Democratic party leader announced less than three months later that he wouldn't run for a sixth Senate term in 2016 and will retire after 30 years.