American Family Insurance blames Audiovox and Best Buy for Chicago house fire

Kelly Holleran Apr. 14, 2011, 3:15am


An insurance company claims the manufacturer of a surge protector is to blame for a fire that destroyed a family's home.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company filed a lawsuit April 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against Audiovox Accessories Corporation, Thomson and Best Buy.

American Family claims it insured Ana Olivo-Erazo's property at 4516 North Karlov Ave. in Chicago on Nov. 14 when the home was destroyed by a fire.

The fire was caused by a SpikeMaster Model SMT7 -- a seven-outlet surge protector that Olivo-Erazo purchased from Best Buy, according to the complaint.

Because of the fire and the water that firefighters used to extinguish it, Olivo-Erazo sustained damages to her home, personal belongings, furnishings and clothing, the suit states.

In addition to Best Buy, Audiovox and Thomson are named as defendants because they manufactured the product, the complaint says.

In its three-count complaint, American Family seeks a judgment of more than $150,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

Scott D. Bjorseth and David A. Schott of Hoagland, Fitzgerald and Pranaitis in Alton will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-333.

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