Insurer Sues Freezer Manufacturer Over Fire

The California commercial refrigeration company, True Manufacturing, received a lawsuit regarding a flawed product last March 7 from, ironically enough, from an insurance company, normally the ones they would call as a countermeasure against such a scenario, with their accountant professional indemnity insurance services.

The Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. went to California’s federal court with a claim against the refrigeration company, stating that a flaw from one of the manufacturer’s freezers was behind a fire that damage a Jewish Temple in Orange County, which led to said temple being temporarily closed for repairs, and Philadelphia paying for a $3.74 M insurance claim. According to the insurance firm, a faulty power cord on a freezer from True Manufacturing was the root cause of the fire, which not only damaged the Temple Beth Sholom, but also the French American School that teaches there, both of which the insurance firm represents.

In the notice of removal for the suit, True Manufacturing says that the case was handed over to the California Superior Court because Philadelphia is a Pennsylvania based company, whilst the manufacturer is Missouri based.

According to the official complaint, the freezer was not up to par with consumer expectations due to defects from design and manufacturing and that the manufacturer allegedly failed to provide apt warning regarding the product was how the fire started and the True Manufacturing should be held liable.

The lawsuit was filed on the 27th of Jan, against True Manufacturing and 50 additional doe defendants who took part in any activity correlated to the freezer. It was filed with the following claims against the defendants:

  • negligence
  • strict liability, and
  • breach of warranty

The fire, which broke out 3 years ago, on the 15th of February, started when a 2011 model Freezer, the True T49F Double Door, located in the Temple Beth Sholom’s kitchen allegedly malfunctioned, resulting in damage to the structure, and its contents, including Torahs, and even an artifact; a 275-year-old scroll that was found during World War II in a Nazi warehouse.

The lawsuit, which will no doubt involve the accountant professional indemnity insurance plan either company possesses, has yet to be resolved.

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