Harry Reid finishes testimony in trial over exercise band injuries

Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid testifies in the courtroom at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, March 28, 2019, during his product liability lawsuit trial against the makers of a resistance exercise band after an incident that blinded him in his right eye more than four years ago. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) U.S. Sen. Harry Reid testifies in the courtroom at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, March 28, 2019, during his product liability lawsuit trial against the makers of a resistance exercise band after an incident that blinded him in his right eye more than four years ago. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s testimony concluded Friday morning in a case about injuries he suffered while using an exercise band.

A lawyer for the makers of the band attempted to poke holes in Reid’s testimony by playing short videos of news conferences and interviews Reid gave after the January 2015 injury.

Months after Reid was blinded from the accident, he said in a news conference, “I was doing exercises that I’ve been doing with the large rubber bands, and one of them broke.”

But on the witness stand, Reid testified, “I never thought the band broke.”

Reid, 79, and his wife of nearly 60 years, Landra Gould, lodged a product liability lawsuit against three defendants: Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co., the Hygenic Corp. and Performance Health LLC.

The lawsuit accused the makers of the TheraBand of negligence and failure to warn.

When Laurin Quiat, the attorney for the band company, asked Reid about his statements to the media, Reid responded, “I said that, but I was just talking. Everybody knew it didn’t break. … In my concussion state, I could have said anything for the first few months.”

A day earlier, that the injury occurred after he had looped an elastic resistance band through a metal handle on a glass door in his bathroom while performing an exercise routine. He testified that he lost his grip on the band, “spun around” and slammed his head on the cabinet.

According to Reid’s lawsuit, along with losing vision in his right eye, he suffered a concussion, broken orbital bones, severe disfigurement to his face, bruising and lacerations on his face, hand injuries, scarring and broken ribs.

About two months after his injury, Reid, who was Senate minority leader at the time, announced that he would not seek re-election. He had served in the Senate since 1987.

Reid spent about three hours on the witness stand Thursday and Friday. He told jurors about his childhood in Searchlight and his days as a boxer, lawyer and Nevada Gaming Commission chairman. He testified that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is in remission.

The trial before District Judge Joe Hardy is scheduled to resume Monday.

David Ferrara at or. Follow on Twitter.