Got hurt at home. Let he daughter light it up and quickly realized what it was. Took it in her hand and the device blew up as she wanted to put it in the sink. It has a name and is the equivalent of 1/8th of a stick of dynamite.
Well, the first issue is jurisdictional. Am I understanding correctly that your friend purchased the item in Michigan and LIVES in Michigan as well? Or did she purchase the item in Michigan and lives in Virginia? I would think that she would have to talk to a Michigan attorney about the case. I'm not sure if Virginia's "long-arm statute" is going to bring the Michigan store under the jurisdiction of Virginia.
If she can bring the case in Michigan rather than Virginia, she may have a better opportunity. Virginia is one of four states (and DC) that still permits a contributory negligence defense to injury cases. If the defense (the store) can show that she was the least bit responsible for her injuries, she is barred from recovering anything in compensation. I say this because from your statement, she "realized what it was" and then she "took it in her hand". That may be enough to say she is somewhat responsible.
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