Dirt Devil caused fire, suit claims

By Michelle Massey | Jan 4, 2011

The manufacturer of an allegedly defective Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner is being sued after a fire caused significant property damage at two homes.

Warren and Elizabeth Mouledoux, Keith and Danielle White, Marie Kidder and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. filed a lawsuit against Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co. d/b/a TTI Floor Care North American and XYZ Insurance Co. on Dec. 3 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Dec. 17.

According to the complaint, Danielle White used a Dirt Devil vacuum at her property located on Hesper Street on Dec. 5, 2009. After vacuuming, she placed the vacuum into its charger and left her home with her small child. About an hour later, a neighbor smelled smoke coming through her vents and called emergency responders. The fire was later determined to have originated from the battery pack in the Dirt Devil vacuum, which was manufactured by Royal.

The plaintiffs argue that Royal Appliance is liable under Louisiana Product Liability Act and Louisiana Redhibition Law for the defective vacuum and battery pack.

The petitioners are seeking more than $92,000 in damages for property damage, loss of rental income, interest, attorney's fees and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lafayette attorney Kenneth W. Jones, Jr.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04577

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