Lawsuit claims Pelonis ceramic heater caused apartment fire

Michelle Massey Dec. 14, 2010, 2:47am

The manufacturer of a ceramic heater is being sued after an apartment dweller was injured by a fire and sustained property damage.

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against Pelonis Appliance Inc. and Midea USA Inc. on Dec. 10 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on Dec. 16, 2009 at an apartment located on Carrolton Avenue and owned by Alfred Mednick. According to the lawsuit, a ceramic heater failed to shut off or cool down prior to reaching an unsafe temperature and caused a fire in the apartment of Ronald and Patricia Garris.

Patricia Garris was severely burned while attempting to extinguish the fire and the property was severely damaged.

Pursuant to Mednick's insurance policy, Louisiana Citizens paid for the repair, renovations and replacement of the property.

The defendant is accused of manufacturing a defective and unreasonably dangerous ceramic heater that did not perform as it was intended and did not have adequate warnings.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of $174,327.40 in damages, plus interest, court costs and fees.

The insurance company is represented by Darren A. Patin, Mackenzie D. Rodriguez and Darren P. Tyus of Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale in Metairie. A Jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04513

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