Mercedes-Benz caught fire in garage, suit claims

Ann Knef Jan. 14, 2008, 8:26am

A Fairview Heights man whose 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 caught fire while parked in his garage, claims the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous and defective in a suit filed Jan. 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Ken Rodewald's insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., is seeking $91,069.36 plus costs of a suit against Mercedes-Benz USA, Isringhausen Imports, DaimlerChrysler Corp., DamilerChrysler North America and DaimlerChrysler Motors Co.

Rodewald bought the vehicle in July 2005, the suit claims. On Aug. 2, 2005, after using the vehicle in a "reasonably forseeable manner," he parked the car in his garage where a fire later ensued.

The fire also destroyed a 2001 Toyota Tundra SR-5 and caused extensive damage to Rodewald's garage, the complaint states.

"At the time the Mercedes-Benz SL500 was in the possession of Ken Rodewald, there was no abnormal use of the vehicle or reasonable secondary cause of the damage," the complaint states. "The Mercedes-Benz SL500 failed to perform in the manner reasonably to be expected in light of its nature and intended function."

Plaintiff's attorney is John P. Cunningham of Brown & James of Belleville.

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