Insurance company blames Cooper Wiring Devices product on Wardensville house fire

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Sep 14, 2018

WHEELING – An insurance company is seeking subrogation from two electrical component manufacturers to recover damages it paid due to a house fire.

Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against Eaton Corp. and Cooper Wiring Devices Inc. alleging negligence and strict liability.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on July 26, 2016, its insureds, Zachary Neff and Sheila Neff, sustained substantial fire damage to their 364 Sandfield Road, Wardensville property, including the demise of their three pets. The plaintiff alleges the fire was a result of the negligence of the defendants in the design and manufacture of the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

The plaintiff alleges it paid $166,754.89 to the Neffs for damages to their property.

The plaintiff holds Eaton Corp. and Cooper Wiring Devices Inc. responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to properly and safely inspect and test the GFCI before placing it into the stream of commerce and failed to warn consumers of the product's risk of fire posed by normal use.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants for compensatory damages, together with interest and the costs of action, and further relief as the court deems just. It is represented by Charles R. Steele of Steele Law Offices in Clarksburg and Denise L. Bessellieu of Cozen O'Connor in Charlotte, North Carolina.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number 2:18-cv-70

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