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Class-action status sought for exploding-toilet lawsuit

A claim has been lodged against the maker of a toilet-flushing mechanism in the form of a lawsuit regarding exploding toilets. The claim asks for $5 million in damages. The malfunctioning toilets have been recalled by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, premises liability claims suits could ensue if any property owners have the defective toilets on the property and don't fix them.

The defective toilets have led to 14 reports of lacerations and other injuries. One victim had to have 14 stitches as a result of an exploding toilet. The Flushmate III Pressure-Assist is the model that is subject to recall, and over 2 million of the products have been sold in the United States. The defective toilets have a water conservation device that causes the problem. The defective system involves products manufactured in 1997 through 2008.

The woman who filed the class action suit alleges that the company's solution of offering a repair kit does not adequately address the problem. Her lawsuit contends that a professional plumber is required to make the necessary fixes, so the repair is costly to the consumer. The lawsuit is seeking elevation to class-action status, which could affect millions of people who bought the product.

If a business owner has a known malfunctioning device on-site after a recall has been issued, an injury could result in a premises liability suit. The injured person can bring forth a lawsuit against the property owner. These types of claim generally, but do not always, arise on a commercial property, such as a shopping center, grocery store or other business.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Exploding toilets prompt recall, lawsuit," Stuart Pfeifer, Aug. 16, 2012

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