Pa. couple sues Whirlpool and Daewoo over house fire

Jon Campisi Oct. 28, 2011, 12:05pm

A Sharon Hill, Pa. couple who alleges a residential fire was started by a faulty microwave has filed a federal product liability lawsuit against the maker and distributor of the household appliance.

Attorney Joseph A. Malley filed the complaint Oct. 26 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Simon Sop and Marie Lewis Sop.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Michigan-based Whirlpool Corporation and South Korea-based Daewoo Electronics.

The complaint alleges that an Oct. 30, 2009 fire at the Sop’s home originated in a wall-mounted Magic Chef Microwave oven located in the plaintiff’s kitchen.

The fire was determined to have been caused by an electrical malfunction within the control compartment of the microwave, the suit claims.

As a result of the fire, the plaintiffs had to file an insurance claim with their homeowner’s insurance company, the Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Co.

As a result of filing the claim, the plaintiff’s incurred damages in a sum in excess of $206,000, as well as expenses related to additional repairs and restoration of their home, repair and replacement of personal property and alternative living expenses, the lawsuit claims.

“The amounts sustained in damages was substantially greater than the amount of coverage afforded by the PCIC, thus forcing the plaintiff’s to deplete their entire life savings and borrow considerable amounts of money in order to restore their home to its condition prior to the fire as aforesaid,” the lawsuit states.

To date, the plaintiff’s have expended in excess of $75,000 over and above the amount paid by their insurance carrier in order to restore their home to the condition to which it was prior to the fire, the suit states.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence for improperly designing, manufacturing, inspecting, marketing and selling the wall-mounted Magic Chef microwave that was determined to be the cause of the blaze in the Sop’s home.

The lawsuit also contains counts of strict liability and breach of warranty, alleging that the plaintiff’s were unaware of the dangerous condition of the kitchen appliance prior to or at the time of the use of the microwave.

The plaintiffs demand judgment against the defendants in a sum in excess of $75,000, plus other court relief.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-06697-HB.

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