Allegedly fire-prone buses spark Port Arthur suit against Chrysler

Carol Ostrow May 15, 2015, 1:57pm


The City of Port Arthur, Texas, brought a complaint against Daimler Buses North Carolina Inc. in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas on May 12, claiming liability in a December 2004 purchase.

The plaintiff purchased ten Daimler Chrysler buses for its public transit system from Daimler Chrysler Commercial Buses North America for $2.98 million on or about Dec. 14, 2004. According to the suit, the purchase was contingent on express warranties for future performance and repair.

The City of Port Arthur claims that the defendant should have known of the fleet’s allegedly defective exhaust and cooling systems; specifically, that their manufacture allows combustible materials in the rear engine compartment and quarter panel to ignite and catch fire.

According to the suit, transit buses caught fire in three separate incidents between 2010 and 2012, forcing the plaintiff to remove all buses from service and rent replacement vehicles due to possible fire risk. The City of Port Arthur claims that it lost revenue, incurred extra costs and sustained property damage as a result of the defendant’s negligence, stating that the buses lacked adequate insulation and heat protection.

Citing general and gross negligence, product liability, defects in design, manufacture and assembly, failure to warn of danger, breach of warranty and merchantability and deceptive trade practices, the plaintiff seeks to recover punitive and exemplary damages, interest, attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Joe J. Fisher II of Provost*Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case 1:15-cv-00186

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