Buyer says defective floor model GE gas range exploded

Michelle Massey Jun. 8, 2010, 3:20am

A Houma man claims a defective range caused an explosion in his home.

Accusing the companies of negligence, Paul K. Boquet filed suit against Lowe's Home Centers and General Electric Co. on Dec. 9, 2009 in the Terrebonne Parish District Court. Lowe's removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on June 4.

According to court records, Boquet bought a GE gas range for $224 from Lowe's on Dec. 10, 2008. The range had previously been used as a store display but was on clearance because of scratches on the front. Boquet says the range was sold with the assurance that it was safe for immediate use and says he received no warnings about any potential problem with installing or using the gas appliance.

The day after the purchase, Boquet says he was attempting to install the range in his home when he heard a humming sound from inside the range. When he opened the oven door, Bouquet says there was a powerful explosion that knocked him backwards. Boquet called the Houma Fire Department and an appliance service technician who inspected the range and discovered that a cap or cover was missing from the regulator valve, causing the explosion.

GE is accused of negligence for manufacturing an unreasonably dangerous range that deviated from its specifications, failing to provide adequate warnings about the missing cap on the regulator and failing to provide adequate instructions about the installation of the range.

Lowe's is accused of negligence for selling a product which was unreasonably dangerous, modifying the gas range to create an unreasonable risk of harm, failing to warn the customer and failing to discover the unreasonably dangerous condition.

Boquet is seeking damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, disfigurement, disability, impairment of function, loss of enjoyment of life, lost income and fringe benefits, loss of earning capacity, future medical expenses, interest and court costs.

Houma attorney David J. Norman, III of Allen & Norman is representing Boquet. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01659

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