WINFIELD — A property underwriter is suing a tool manufacturer, alleging the defendant's negligence caused a fire that damaged a home. 

Erie Insurance Company, a subrogee of Fred and Roberta Duffer, filed a complaint Feb. 21 in Putnam Circuit Court against Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc., doing business as Harbor Freight Tools, alleging breach of duty to exercise due care in manufacturing its products.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 20, 2015, a fire occurred in the garage of the Hurricane home owned by plaintiff's insured, Fred and Roberta Duffer. The suit says the fire was caused by a malfunctioning battery charger manufactured by the defendant. 

As a result, the lawsuit says, Erie Insurance paid the Duffers $326,566.79. The plaintiff alleges Harbor Freight Tools failed to properly manufacture and construct the battery charger and failed to warn users posed by the charger and its propensity to fail.

Erie Insurance seeks trial by jury, judgment for $326,566.79, plus interest, costs of court and all other just and proper relief. It is represented by attorney Ryan S. Marsteller of Bailes, Craig & Yon PLLC in Huntington.

Putnam Circuit Court Case number 17-c-28

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Putnam Circuit Court
12093 Winfield Road
Winfield, WV - 25213

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