Appliance giant Electrolux sued for property damage resulting from an allegedly faulty dehumidifier that was recalled years prior.
Consumer products are often subject to recalls due to potential risks of harm, despite numerous users not encountering any issue with their purchased items. When consumers instigate a lawsuit, it’s typically to recoup economic losses premised on the “benefit of the bargain” principle—whereby the recalled goods are now deemed less valuable than the original purchase price. If a consumer experiences the identified hazard, resulting in personal injury or property damage, a lawsuit may seek compensation for these additional hardships. The alleged injury naturally precedes any product recall in most cases.
However, there are exceptions. A notable recent example saw an insurance company, in late May, take legal action against Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (“Electrolux”), alleging property damage caused by a dehumidifier years after the product was recalled. In the case of Church Mutual Insurance Co. S.I. v. Electrolux Home Products Inc., No. 5:23- cv-01972 (E.D. Pa.), Church Mutual Insurance Company, representing its policyholder Mount Zion Lutheran Church Krumsville, sought to recover over $1 million for damages caused by smoke, fire, and water after an alleged dehumidifier malfunction on April 4, 2022. The recalled dehumidifier, donated to the church at an indeterminate time, had been recalled in November 2016.
At the recall’s announcement, consumers were advised to immediately disconnect their products and reach out to the manufacturer for a replacement or partial refund. Unfortunately, neither the dehumidifier’s donor nor the church appear to have adhered to these guidelines. The church had continued operating the dehumidifier as recently as five and a half years post the CPSC product recall announcement. Despite this, the complaint doesn’t focus on the recall execution or whether consumers were adequately informed. Instead, it presents negligence and strict products liability claims based on the sale of an allegedly defective product.
Given the recall’s timing and the alleged injury, the Church Mutual case is set to be a compelling one to observe. It raises essential questions about who should bear the responsibility—be it the manufacturer, the consumer, or another party in the distribution chain—for potential harms occurring long after consumers have been cautioned of the hazard and the products have been withdrawn from the market.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or significant property loss due to a fire caused by this dangerous product, you or your loved one could receive substantial financial compensation.
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Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm and substantial property loss caused by dangerous products like this defective dehumidifier. For your free consultation, contact our national product liability law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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