CLARKSBURG -- An insurance company says it was forced to pay a lumber company and a neighboring business more than $150,000 after a fire erupted in the building, caused by a defective exhaust fan.

Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company filed a lawsuit July 10 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against Broan-NuTone.

The insurance company alleges an exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-NuTone was installed in the ceiling of bathroom facilities at Dingess Lumber Company and Laurel Mountain Rails, located at 305 Industrial Park Road in Belington.

On March 31, 2008, a fire broke out at Dingess Lumber Company and Laurel Mountain Rails, causing serious damage to the premises of more than $155,350, according to the complaint.

Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company had insured the premises and was forced to dole out more than $155,350 in repair costs, the suit states.

"Upon information and belief, the fire in question was caused by a defect within the Fan that was manufactured, supplied and placed into the stream of commerce by defendant Broan," the complaint says.

In the three-count suit, Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company is seeking a judgment of more than $466,050, plus interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Chad L. Taylor of Simmerman Law Office in Clarksburg and David S. Huberman of White and Williams in Philadelphia will be representing the company.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-CV-80

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