Former BYU coach Reno Mahe, wife sue blinds companies over strangulation of daughter

Elise Mahe picture.jpg
Elsie Mahe (Photo: GoFundMe)

(KUTV) — Former BYU player and coach Reno Mahe and his wife Sunny Mahe, are suing blinds companies over the 2016 death of their 3-year-old daughter.

Elsie Mahe, the couple's daughter, died a week after she was found tangled in the cords of window blinds in the Mahe family's home.

The couple filed a lawsuit Thursday in Third District Court against BlindVision, a Utah corporation. Also named in the suit is Century Blinds, a California corporation, a fabricator for Hunter Douglas in New Jersey.

Elsie Mahe was tangled in blind cords on Nov. 22, 2016 and died from her injuries on Nov. 29, 2016.

The lawsuit says that Elsie suffered fear, pain and suffering from her strangulation. It also states that her family have paid expenses related to her death and also suffered extreme mental and emotional anguish and "the permanent destruction of their family unit."

The lawsuit claims the window blinds were sold without mechanisms to prevent strangulation and didn't adequately warn consumers of the product's hazards. The suit claims the manufacturers were negligent.

The lawsuit seeks "special damages, including but not limited to medical bills, funeral, burial and related expenses, arising out of the death of Elsie Mahe." It seeks general damages "including but not limited to damages for the loss of the care, comfort, companionship, society, guidance, love, affection, association, services and support of Elsie Mahe."

It also seeks relief for the fear and suffering of Elsie Mahe, punitive damages to the extent allowed by law, attorney's fees and interest.

The child's death was shared publicly by the family on a Facebook page where news of her passing was first shared.

Sunny Mahe wrote at the time:

Our Elsie girl has officially been released to heaven - at least from a worldly, paperwork stand point. Her second neurological death exam was also positive for brain death. We feel peace and we are again so grateful for the privilege of being Elsie's parents. She continues to sprinkle love and hope across the world and I am in awe of the Lord and His marvelous plan for my sweet girl.

The family was also public with its plans to donate Elsie Mahe's organs to others who could use them. The family said they felt confident their daughter was meant to be a "life-saving miracle for others."

A GoFundMe page was also established on behalf of the family. It has raised nearly $85,000.

Reno Mahe played football at Brighton High School, BYU and for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a running backs coach at BYU at the time of the accident and was fired from his post in December 2017.