Scott Starr, of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that the firm is investigating potential products liability claims related to LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, which have been recalled due to a fire hazard.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) announced on August 21, 2012, that approximately 21,000 LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, sold between November 2009 through August 2010 are being voluntarily recalled because of a faulty gas valve. This valve may fail to shut off properly, which leads to the dryer continuing to be heated even after the dryer cycle is complete. This may result in the drum getting scorched, or any clothing or other materials left inside the dryer burning or becoming scorched. It has also resulted in burn injuries when consumers reach into the still heated dryer to get out their clothing, for example. Therefore, the risks involved from this product defect include burns, fire, and smoke inhalation.
These gas dryers were mainly sold through Sears stores, including all the Kenmore Elite gas dryers which are under the recall. However, some of the LG gas dryers were also sold in other appliance stores beside Sears. Not all model and serial numbers are involved in this recall so consumers are urged to check the label affixed to the front of the dryer, which is visible when the dryer door is opened, to see if their model and serial number are part of the recall. The USCPSC website provides both a list of effected model and serial numbers, as well as pictures of the models involved. [Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12251.html]
Starr has stated, “Based on information within the USCPSC press release, it appears that LG may known about these faulty valves for some time prior to this recall, announced today. This is based on the statement within the release that ‘some consumers have already been notified and have received the repair service.’ If LG knew of the faulty gas valve for an extended period of time prior to this recall, it raises the question of whether the recall happened quickly enough, or if the consumer public has been unnecessarily put at risk for a longer period of time than needed.” He went on to state, “Only a full investigation, most likely as a part of discovery during products liability litigation, could answer this question fully and determine what, if any, liability LG should suffer if it waited too long to begin this recall.”
If your Sears Kenmore Elite or LG gas dryer has caught on fire, or overheated, causing either damage to your home or other property, or physical injuries, you may be able to seek legal recourse in the form of a product liability lawsuit. Talk to an experienced products liability attorney who can help you understand your options.