By Laird Harrison
OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Sacramento Kings guard-forward Francisco Garcia has filed a federal lawsuit against the maker of an exercise ball he blames for a 2009 weightlifting accident that left him with a broken arm.
The 6-foot-7, 195-pound Dominican native was balancing himself on the Stability Ball Gymnic Plus while lifting dumbbells when the ball exploded, throwing him to the floor and causing him to break his right forearm, the lawsuit said.
Garcia, 30, was able to play only 25 games in the 2009-2010 National Basketball Association season due to the injury, and the lawsuit alleges that he lost income as a result. Returning to the court, he played 58 games in the 2010-2011 season, averaging 9.7 points per game.
The companies that make and distribute the ball should have known the product was dangerous because of similar incidents in the past, Garcia alleged in his complaint.
Instead, they advertised that the ball had a "600-pound capacity and further represented and warranted that the ball was 'burst resistant,'" according to the lawsuit.
On its current website, distributor M-F Athletic warns that its $26.95 Burst Resistant Stability Balls Plus should not be used in weightlifting.
The suit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, names the ball's manufacturer, Ledraplastics of Italy, along with M-F Athletic and a second distributor, Ball Dynamics International of Longmont, Colorado.
"We used to buy that ball from Ledraplastics," Ball Dynamics general manager Jack Broderick acknowledged. "We don't sell it anymore." He declined to comment further on the lawsuit. Ledraplastics and M-F Athletic could not be reached for comment.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Johnston)