Home Depot sued for not warning of gas grill's risk of fire

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 6, 2011, 2:51am

Blue Ember gas grill

SHERMAN - Home Depot is facing a lawsuit that accuses it of failing to warn consumers that its Blue Ember gas grills could cause fires and result in property damage and physical injury.

Safeco Insurance Co. of Indiana, as subrogee of Martin and Violette Stover, filed suit against The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. on July 27 in Denton Country District Court.

The Stovers purchased a Blue Ember gas grill from Home Depot in the spring of 2007. On Aug. 4, 2009, while Stover was grilling chicken on the gas grill, a fire started which caused damage to the Stovers' home and personal property, according to the suit.

By the fall of 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had announced a voluntary recall of the gas grill. According to the recall notice, the grill could be assembled improperly, exposing the gas burner hoses to excessive heating, which could result in fire and burn hazards to consumers, the suit claims.

Another recall was issued in July 2009 which stated that the grill's gas tank hose could get too close to the firebox and be exposed to heat, resulting in a fire hazard. By the time of the second recall, the grill's manufacturer had received 161 reports of grill fires, according to the lawsuit.

Fiesta Gas Grills, the manufacturer of the grills in question, filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in April.

The plaintiff argues that the gas grill was defective and unsafe for its intended purposes at the time it left control of Home Depot.

Home Depot is accused of strict products liability and negligence.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of economic damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

The plaintiff is represented by David H. Fisk of Cozen and O'Connor in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:11-cv-00781

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