Insurance company claims defective espresso machine caused property fire

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Nov 9, 2015

A property insurance company is suing two corporations that were in the business of designing, manufacturing, assembling and/or selling espresso machines, claiming that the product caused a coffee shop fire in 2014.

Donegal Mutual Insurance Co., as subrogee of Thomas P. Williams of Marietta, filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Nuova Simonelli USA Inc. and Nuova Distribution U.S.A. LLC, alleging negligence, breach of warranty and strict liability.

According to the complaint, a fire occurred on Aug. 24, 2014, within a leased coffee shop at property in Allentown owned by Williams that was insured by Donegal. The plaintiff alleges the fire was the result of the defendant's espresso machine malfunctioning when the power wiring to one of the solenoids failed.

The suit says the defendants failed to ensure the espresso machine was properly functioning in a safe manner or check to see if all of its component parts were free of detects and thus correct any detects found.

The plaintiff's insured claims the dangerous and defective condition of the espresso machine manufactured, marketed, sold and/or distributed by the defendants led to him sustaining fire damage to his property and other fire-related expenses of more than $220,000.

The plaintiff seeks damages in the amount mentioned above, plus costs of suit and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. The plaintiff is represented by attorney Jesse M. Cohen of J.M. Cohen LLC in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:15-cv-05048-EGS

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