Covington home owners are suing a water heater manufacturer claiming negligent design and construction.

Michael Moguel and Delmy Cruz filed suit against Rheem Manufacturing Co. on Nov. 21 in federal court in New Orleans, after their home allegedly suffered extensive water damage when their water heater ruptured.

According to the lawsuit, on Nov. 23, 2010, the plaintiffs' Rheem hot water heater ruptured at their home located on Simalusa Drive in Covington. They state they were away at work when the rupture occurred and, as a result, the water was allowed to run freely for approximately 15 hours. The water heater was situated in the third floor attic of their home and, because of the rupture, the water damage extended to all three floors.

The plaintiffs state that the water heater was installed properly and the rupture was caused by defective construction, composition and/or design of the water heater.

"Rheem knew or should have known that the hot water heater was unreasonably dangerous in its construction, composition and/or its design and Rheem failed to warn of its defects and/or because the heater did not conform to an express warranty of defendant manufacturer," the lawsuit states.

Moguel and Cruz are asking for more than $75,000 in damages, plus interest and costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bernard J. Bagert, Jr. of The Bagert Law Firm in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02902

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