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Dick Smith Facing Massive Damages Claim As CEO Quits

By David Richards | Wednesday | 01/08/2012

Dick Smith could be hit with a massive damages claim after a three year old girl was seriously burnt by a Dick Smith house brand portable DVD player that exploded in her lap in the family car.

Dick Smith could be hit with a massive damages claim after a three year old girl was seriously burnt by a Dick Smith house brand portable DVD player that exploded in her lap in the family car.

A recall of the device has been issued by Dick Smith on the same day that the CEO of the Company quit. The two are not linked.

Calls to Dick Smith management have not been returned.

Amber's husband Heath and their daughter Ava were driving when he noticed a burning smell in the car according to the Bendigo Advertiser.

Click to enlarge
Burnt Girl Pictures Bendigo Advertiser

Mr Lyons pulled to the side of the road to investigate, suspecting the smell had come from the car bonnet.

Suddenly, he witnessed a flash inside the car and ran to the door to find his daughter screaming with some of her clothing on fire.

Mr Lyons told the Advertiser that he quickly pulled his daughter from the car and used her apple drink to extinguish the flames.

He said the explosion, which originated from the sealed battery compartment of the device, left Ava's padded seatbelt covers smouldering, as well as a soft toy she had sitting with her.

Dick Smith  has issued a recall of the product  a 9" Portable DVD/Media Player. A similar recall for a similar product was first issued in January 2011.

Recalled DVD Player

Dick Smith has not explained why they continued selling the Made In China device after the January 2011 recall.

According to the ACCC's Recalls website, "In rare cases the internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery may overheat" and that, "overheating batteries are a potential fire hazard".

Dick Smith said that consumers who purchased this product should immediately cease using it and return it to any Dick Smith store for a full refund.

This week the besieged CEO of Dick Smith Deborah Singh decided to call it quits after the Woolworths board decided to close 100 Dick Smith stores because of poor performance.

 Singh took on the role in 2008 and despite more than $300M being pumped into the retail chain sales failed to deliver the returns that Woolworths expected.

Earlier this year Woolworths announced that the underperforming group was up for sale with an announcement expected next month.

Woolworths Limited's CEO, Grant O'Brien said recently "There is a long tail of underperforming stores with a tough sector undergoing significant change globally and experiencing a high level of price deflation," O'Brien said. "As a consequence, we have initiated a full strategic review, aided by industry experts, of all options to validate our existing strategy or to suggest an alternative to deliver shareholder value."

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