Freezer manufacturer sued by insurance company following house fire

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 3, 2012, 10:00am


TYLER - Electrolux Home Products is being sued for more than $200,000 following a house fire in Carthage that was allegedly caused by an overheating freezer.

State Farm Lloyds Insurance Co., as subrogee of Timothy and April Crowley, filed suit against Electrolux Home Products Inc. on April 13 in Panola County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division on May 25.

According to the lawsuit, on Nov. 28, 2010, a fire erupted at the plaintiffs' residence located in Carthage. The fire caused significant structure and personal property damage.

A fire investigator determined that the origin of the fire started in the utility room, specifically in an area located where a freezer and its line cord were located, the suit states.

An engineer inspection determined that the fire was caused by electrical damage and arcing associated with overheating coming from the thermostatic switch assembly, according to the suit. The overheating was of sufficient temperature to ignite the plastic casing on the thermostat.

The freezer unit at issue is a Frigidaire brand, Model Number 253FFI11FK0FW.

Causes of action filed against the defendant include strict liability, negligence, breach of express and implied warranties.

State Farm is asking for an award of $243,306 for the personal property damage sustained to the Crowley home and their living expenses, plus an award of attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by N. Scott Carpenter and Craig M. Schumacher of Carpenter & Schumacher P.C. in Plano.

U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:12-cv-00352

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