Insurance company sues after toilet tank connector fails and floods home

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 20, 2012, 4:45am


An insurance company is suing the manufacturer of a toilet tank connector for more than $187,000 after the part failed and caused the house to be flooded.

State Farm Lloyds Insurance Co., as subrogee of Douglas Pierce and Gloria Pierce, filed suit against Watts Industries Inc. and Watts Water Technologies Inc. on May 10 in Collin County District Court. The defendants removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on June 15.

The alleged incident occurred on May 28, 2010 at the Pierces' home located on Chapman Road in Plano. According to the lawsuit, the Pierces' home was flooded when the toilet tank connector in the second floor bathroom failed at the coupling nut.

The defendants are accused of negligence for the design, manufacture, marketing, selling, and distribution of the stainless steel toilet tank connectors, failing to warn the users that the connectors will fail or about the risks of flood and potential property damages, and for failing to include written warnings.

The defendants are also accused of strict liability for defective product and breach of implied warranties.

State Farm is asking the court for an award of $187,488.06 in damages for personal property damages, including diminution of value and costs of repair and loss of use.

The plaintiffs are represented by Marcos Hazan-Cohen of Cozen O'Connor in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00360

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