Stutman Law Obtains $710,000 Verdict Against Broan-Nutone

A federal court jury in Syracuse, NY determined that a bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone was defective and a caused a fire at a daycare center in Victor, New York.   Thomas Paolini and Thomas Underwood from Stutman Law’s New Jersey office tried the case.

On September 17, 2009, a fire destroyed the Jack & Jill Childcare Center in Victor, NY. As a result of the fire, Stutman Law’s carrier client paid its insureds for the damages and conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire. The investigation identified a bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone as the cause.

A subrogation lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse, NY. Broan-Nutone denied liability and strongly defended the matter. Extensive discovery was conducted by the parties. Ultimately, the case could not be resolved and the Honorable Norman Mordue scheduled the case for trial.

During the trial, the plaintiff presented evidence that the fan’s sole safety device, a thermal cut out, failed to operate. This allowed electrical failures to occur in the fan that ignited the fire. Broan-Nutone claimed its fan contained no defect and did not cause the fire. Broan-Nutone also claimed that the fire originated in another area of the daycare center.

The trial lasted more than a week and concluded with a unanimous jury finding that the Broan-Nutone fan was defective and caused the fire. The jury’s verdict of $550,000 was molded to $710,000.00 after prejudgment interest was added.

Posted in News, Recoveries | Tagged , |