Can Defective Appliances Cause Fires?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 7-Jul-2017

Common appliances that include washing machines and dishwashers may cause devastating house and structure fires. In fact, this type of risk is being discussed worldwide after it was discovered the Grenfell Tower fire in London may have been sparked by a Hotpoint fridge. An estimated 79 people died in Grenfell Tower early last month. However, appliance fires are also a common occurrence here in the United States.

According to a 2012 study conducted by Consumer Reports, a national consumer safety organization, many appliance fires are caused by defective products. Defective components in these appliances may overheat and catch fire. To make matters worse, many appliances are made of plastic, which makes them even more flammable. Consumer Reports analyzed 69,000 appliance fires in the U.S. that occurred between 2002 and 2009. More than 15,700 of these fires were caused by electrical, mechanical and design problems. This study focused on appliances that included dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers and washing machines. In some cases, fires were sparked by appliances that were under recall.

While these appliances may start fires, there are many other types of popular products that also come with fire risks. Space heaters and products containing defective lithium-ion batteries may also cause fires.

Can I File a Lawsuit for Appliance Fires?

In cases where appliance fires are caused by defective products, it may be possible to seek damages against the manufacturers or retailers. These products may also lack labeling that can warn consumers of fire dangers. Damages from a product liability lawsuit can help pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.

The Washington DC personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC have firsthand experience helping clients harmed by appliance fires. In one case, our attorneys recovered a $3.8 million settlement for a 5-year-old child who was injured in a fire caused by a defective home appliance.

Categories: Product Liability
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