PA man claims defective air purifier burned down his house

Kelly Holleran May 27, 2009, 11:18am

A Port Arthur resident has filed a product liability suit against Sunbeam, alleging its defective air purifier started a fire that destroyed his house.

Walter Thomas says a fire started in his home at 2982 Manning St. in Port Arthur on Aug. 29, 2007.

He alleges the fire was caused by a failure within an air purifier that was designed by Sunbeam, according to the complaint filed May 21 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the fire, Thomas incurred costs to repair his home and incurred additional living expenses, the suit states.

"The damages total approximately $226,798.28," the suit states.

The plaintiff alleges Sunbeam breached its duty to manufacture its product in a reasonably prudent manner by failing to manufacture the air purifier so that a fire hazard did not exist and failing to properly insulate the conductors of the air purifier.

Thomas is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum legal rate and other relief to which he may be entitled.

He is represented by William T. Sebesta and Randall J. Poelma Jr. of Doyen Sebesta in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B184-129.

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