Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Plaintiff shocked by coffee pot has no right to request punitive damages, defense counsel attests


By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 18, 2018


PHILADELPHIA – Defense counsel for manufacturers and retailers of a Toastmaster coffee pot which allegedly gave a case plaintiff an electric shock, say that same plaintiff has no legal right to request punitive damages.

Rowan Reid and Jeanine Gibson-Reid of Yeadon first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 13 versus Applica Consumer Products, Inc. of Miramar, Fla., Russell Hobbs of Beachwood, Ohio, Select Brands, Inc. and Select Brands, LLC of Lenexa, Kan., Spectrum Brand Holdings, Inc. and Spectrum Brands, Inc. of Middleton, Wis., Dollar General Store of Philadelphia and Dollar General Corporation of Goodlettsville, Tenn.

(Defendants Applica Consumer Products, Russell Hobbs, Spectrum Brand Holdings, Inc. and Spectrum Brands, Inc. were later dismissed on Sept. 7.)

In August 2016, Rowan bought a Toastmaster 12-Cup Coffee Maker Model No. TM122CM from a Dollar General Store in West Philadelphia. On Aug. 16 of that same year, Rowan suffered serious electrical shock while using the product for its proper and appropriate use to make coffee – incurring upper extremity-disfigurement, loss of function, loss of use and severe pain and suffering, he says.

The defendants knew of the appliance’s dangers but did not remedy them or warn customers of them and sold the product anyway despite it failing a risk/utility analysis, thus making them jointly and severally liable, the suit says.

On July 17, counsel for the defendants filed a reply and preliminary objections to the Reids’ lawsuit, stating, “There is not a single specific fact alleged which would give rise to the imposition of punitive damages. In the complaint, plaintiff makes no allegations of willful, wanton and outrageous conduct against moving defendants, yet demands punitive damages that are unsupported by the facts or the pleading.”

For counts of negligence, strict product liability, breach of warranty and loss of consortium, the plaintiff is seeking, jointly and severally, compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $50,000, together with such other relief as the Court may deem just and fair.

The plaintiff is represented by Gerald B. Baldino Jr. of Sacchetta & Baldino, in Media.

The defendants are represented by Bradley D. Remick of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, plus Joshua P. Locke and Linton W. Turner Jr. of Mayfield Turner O’Mara & Donnelly, in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180601522

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Organizations in this Story

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & GogginPhiladelphia County Court of Common PleasSacchetta & Baldino