Allstate Insurance files product liability subrogation claim against Electrolux over dryer fires

by John Chapman

Allstate Insurance alleged recently in a lawsuit filed against Electrolux Home Products that the appliance company knew that its clothes dryers could cause fires to start. Allstate filed a product liability lawsuit in Pennsylvania against Electrolux on behalf of nine families insured by the company whose homes suffered significant property damage as a result of fires started by Electrolux dryers.

As a result of the fires in the nine families’ homes, Allstate was forced to pay $728,000 in damages. After paying the claims, the company filed a subrogation claim against Electrolux in order to recover losses incurred by the company as a result of the fires.

Attorneys representing the insurance company have alleged that Electrolux knew from tests conducted on the clothes dryers in question that there was a risk they could cause fires. The dryers in question are known as ball-hitch clothes dryers. The dryers are designed with a dryer drum that has an empty space just behind it called a heater pan. The dryers also have a blower motor inside the machine with a mesh lint trap designed to capture lint while the dryer is in operation.

Although this lint trap used to be made of steel, Allstate contends that in 1995 and 1996, Electrolux redesigned the dryers in question to include a plastic lint trap made from combustible materials. The company conducted multiple tests during the redesign process in which the dryers caught fire once the combustible plastic lint traps were installed. Once these combustible plastic parts caught fire, the tests revealed that the fires could spread outside the dryer.

Allstate alleges that even before the company redesigned its dryers with flammable plastic lint traps, the company had received complaints that the machines could cause fires to start. In 2005, Electrolux was forced to recall dryers sold in Japan because of a risk of fire. In spite of this recall, Electrolux failed to recall the dryers sold in America, or to warn U.S. customers about the risk of fire associated with these products.

According to the lawsuit filed by Allstate, fires started by the Electrolux dryers in the homes of its nine insured customers were caused by lint that was not visible to the naked eye or accessible during the normal operation of the dryer. Because the lint collected close to the dryer’s heating source, Allstate alleges that these products are inherently unsafe and were defective as soon as they left the factory.

The Allstate product liability lawsuit against Electrolux is not the first litigation the company has faced over dryer fires. In 2014, Electrolux agreed to a settlement in a proposed class action lawsuit filed on behalf of U.S. consumers who purchased the product. Allstate also filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of a Connecticut family who suffered fire damage to their home caused by a Frigidaire dehumidifier manufactured by Electrolux.

Product Liability Lawsuits Filed By Heygood, Orr & Pearson on Behalf of Consumers

When consumer home products are not manufactured to meet basic safety standards, serious injuries or property damage may result. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or damage to your property as a result of defectively manufactured home products, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for the personal harm and damage to your possessions. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced product liability attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience, knowledge, and expertise with product liability litigation to handle property damage or personal injury claims on your behalf. Our attorneys have tried hundreds of lawsuits to verdict and reached settlements in hundreds more.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson also has the financial resources to handle product liability cases on behalf of our clients from start to finish. In many cases, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of our own money in order to take a case to trial.

For more information about the product liability litigation and to find out whether you may be eligible to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions to get started.

by John Chapman

John Chapman is a licensed attorney with experience in complex commercial litigation (including securities fraud, RICO, shareholder oppression, and derivative actions) and personal injury litigation.