Pennsylvania Record

Friday, April 3, 2020

Chinese company added to lawsuit filed by plaintiff allegedly shocked by Toastmaster coffee pot


By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 29, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – One of the manufacturers and retail defendants in a case involving a plaintiff who claimed to receive an electric shock from a Toastmaster coffee pot has filed a joinder complaint to add another company to the brew.

On Oct. 30, Select Brands, LLC filed such a complaint seeking to add Ningbo Best Group Co., Ltd. (doing business as “FBELE”), one of China’s leading manufacturers of acoustic and electronic components, to the action filed by Rowan Reid and Jeanine Gibson-Reid. Select Brands is seeking to ascertain what, if any, liability FBELE has to the subject events at issue in the litigation.

The Reids, 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.

Counsel for the defendants later 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