When buying appliances for the workplace, Massachusetts small business owners should be careful to note that the product is safe, not subject to a recall and that it performs according to its purpose. This is because defective appliances sometimes cause serious damage, forcing companies to suffer huge losses. This was recently observed by a bakery and pie company that suffered serious damage to the nearly century-old building it was housed in during a recent fire.
According to sources, the company had installed fire suppression devices in their bakery. These devices were maintained by the same company that manufactured them. This past summer, a fire broke out in the fryer room, which was located in the center of the facility. This fire quickly spread to the entire building. Almost 100 fire fighters were called to subdue the fire, and luckily it did not cause serious injuries to any employees.
A product liability lawsuit was filed recently by the baking company against the manufacturer of the fire suppression device. Since it is not immediately clear why the fire suppression device did not function properly, the lawsuit will likely involve a lengthy investigation that will determine the relative fault of each party involved.
Property damage due to a defective product can give rise to a cause of action for damages against the manufacturer of the item if negligent maintenance or a faulty part of the device was the cause of the damage. Alternatively, some industrial equipment could be designed in a way that makes it ineffective, and in this case failing to prevent a fire is certainly a harmful defect.
Source: The Times-Picayune, “Hubig’s pie company sues fire suppression company” Paul Purpura, Dec. 26, 2012