Farmers Insurance sues Sunbeam over fire caused by electric blanket
Kelly Holleran Jun. 23, 2010, 4:50am
An insurance company claims it had to pay a Harrisburg couple more than $240,000 after their home was burned from a fire started by a faulty electric blanket.
Illinois Farmers Insurance Company filed a complaint June 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Sunbeam Products doing business as Jarden Consumer Solutions.
Farmers claims it insured a home Jason and Mindy Jones owned located at 75 N. Hankins Rd. in Harrisburg when the fire occurred on April 13, 2008.
Investigators determined the fire originated at an electric blanket manufactured by Sunbeam, which the Joneses had purchased in December 2006, according to the complaint.
"The fire was caused by a malfunction of and/or a defect within the subject electric blanket's heating wire and/or its related components and wiring," the suit states.
After the fire, the Joneses submitted a claim to Farmers, which forced the company to pay the couple $240,214.68 for the damages they incurred as a result, the complaint says.
In its complaint, Farmers alleges negligence against Sunbeam, saying the company failed to exercise reasonable care in designing its blanket and failed to provide consumers warnings about the dangers of the electric blanket. It also alleges strict product liability and breach of implied warranty.
In addition to the money it had to pay the Joneses, Farmers seeks costs and other relief the court deems just.
Steven M. Thompson, Emilie G. Kaplan and James P. DuChateau of Sneckenberg, Thompson and Brody will be representing it.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-297.