Man sues generator seller and manufacturer for product deficiencies

By Kyle Barnett | Nov 6, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A man is suing the company who sold him a defective generator that failed during Hurricane Isaac and forced him to evacuate with an elderly relative who required the use of an oxygen tank.

Captain A. Dee Geohagen filed suit against A-1 Electrical Contractors Inc. and Generac Power Systems Inc. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff claims that the generator purchased for use as a secondary and alternative power source for home from A-1 Electrical Contractors, including a contract for installation and maintenance in August 2009, repeatedly failed in its use.

In June 2012, the plaintiff claims that a muffler needed to be replaced, which the plaintiff paid A-1 $1,243.27 to perform. Next, during Hurricane Isaac, the plaintiff claims that he attempted to use the generator, which failed after only one hour of use. He was consequently forced to evacuate, as his elderly relative required the use of an electric oxygen tank for breathing. In December 2012, a Generac service provider was called out to determine the cause of another breakdown. The technician determined that there was a gas build-up and again replaced the muffler for $1,500. The plaintiff claims he requested a replacement and full warranty from Generac.

Generac allegedly offered to pay for parts, but not the cost of labor and could not guarantee any replacements. The plaintiff says he rejected that offer. In August 2013, it was discovered that the natural gas pipeline needed to be double its current size, but Entergy advised the plaintiff that “the generator had been installed too close to the Petitioner’s residence for the proper-sized natural gas meter to be installed.” As of the time of the case filing, the generator was non-operational.

A-1, the generator’s seller, is accused of being liable for selling an item useless for its intended purpose and defective at the time of sale.  Generac, the item manufacturer, is accused of not replacing or guaranteeing repairs on their defective product.

The plaintiff seeks relief for costs he accrued including the cost of the generator and its installation for $22,000, $861.31 in annual service fees, plus damage repair for $1,243.27 and $1,500.00. Relief is also sought for mental anguish, emotional distress, costs of evacuating during Hurricane Isaac after the generator failed, plus any other damages.

The plaintiff is represented by Patrick D. Derouen of New Orleans-based Derouen Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case no. 2013-08296.

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