GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A California company and a retailer are denying responsibility for injuries suffered by a Michigan furniture executive who hurt his back when a chair collapsed.

Menards and U.S. Furniture say David Miller’s injuries may have been caused by his own negligence in using the chair. Miller says he tumbled to the floor when a chair leg snapped as he reached for a pencil during a staff meeting at Grand Rapids Chair in 2012.

Menards sold the chair marketed by U.S. Furniture, based in California. They filed a joint response this week to a lawsuit in Grand Rapids federal court.

Miller says sharp pain in his lower back prevented him from continuing to serve as president of Grand Rapids Chair. Geoff Miller says his dad bought the chair to study it.

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