And the Verdict is…..Family Claimed Defective Heater Started Fatal Fire

Property Insurance

In the early part of Jan 5, 2011 a fire started at the Shinedling home which eventually caused the loss of the mother of three young girls due to a faulty space heater. When you purchase a space heater you expect it to work properly and be safe while providing heat for you throughout the night, but in this case the result was an absolute nightmare for both the family and the manufacturer of the heater.

With the case in court, in front of a jury, the fault was split 80/20 with the manufacturer taking the brunt of the responsibility. This verdict came back with an award of $58,650,000 for the family which after apportionment the total awarded is $46,920,000. While this is a substantial award it does not replace the mother of the three girls and the wife of a devoted husband.

What do we learn from this? The first thing to do when purchasing a space heater or any other product, especially one that can possibly cause fire or be an ignitor of any kind is to follow the warnings of the manufacturer. It’s also a great idea to make sure you read reviews for products to ensure you can take advantage of the experience of others. Make sure the product chosen has proved to be reliable in its performance. The last thing you want to do is fight in court after having lost a spouse or child. If you are a manufacturer, you need to make sure you have high enough product liability limits to protect your potential losses, Matsen can help you in obtaining the higher product liability limits.

For more information, call Matsen CEO, R. Glenn Matsen, directly on his personal extension at 916-306-5902.