CHARLESTON -- A Huntington couple is suing Reckitt Benckiser, American Water Heater Co., Gabriel Brothers and an individual for a flash fire that occurred in their apartment.
Keith Brown and Rachel Henderson Brown leased an apartment from Judy Aycock that was equipped with a US/Craftmaster hot water heater manufactured by American Water Heater Co., according to a complaint filed May 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
On May 31, 2008, the Browns purchased two cans of Neutra Air air freshener, which was manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser, from Gabriel Brothers, according to the suit.
The Browns claim the air freshener fell from the toilet in the apartment's bathroom, at which time the cap snapped off and the valve stem was pushed inside the canister.
"The canister began to spew its contents from the now open nozzle area," according to the suit.
Mr. Brown picked up the canister and dropped it into the toilet, which created a fog and ignited a flash fire when it came in contact with the hot water heater, according to the suit.
The Browns claim they suffered severe burns to their legs and lesser burns to their arms, hands, upper bodies and faces because of the flash fire.
The defendants failed to warn users of the flammability dangers associated with the air freshener, according to the suit.
The Browns are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Marvin W. Masters and Christopher L. Brinkley.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-884