On February 6th, 2020, Sun Water Systems issued a recall for its Sump Pumps that were distributed under various brands, including Utilitech, Do It and Star Water Systems. The sump pumps could overheat during use and cause a fire, leading to catastrophic injuries. About 33,000 of the units were recalled.
The sump pumps are used to remove water from basements and underground rooms in residential areas. They are black in color and have a clear label on the item that lists all the necessary information.
The Utilitech sump pumps with model number #148009 have manufacturing date codes between 1017 and 0219, and their UPC code is 054757098483. The Do It sump pumps with model number #433063 have manufacturing date codes between 0214 and 0219, and their UPC code is 009326405087. The Star Water Systems sump pumps with model number #3CEH have manufacturing date codes between 0715 and 0219, and their UPC code is 054757000721.
The items were manufactured in China and imported into the Indiana, where they were distributed. The sump pumps cost about $100 and could be find online at Amazon.com and at numerous stores, including:
- Do It Best
- Orscheln Farm & Home
- HEP Sales
- Carter Lumber
- Big R
- Holmes Lumber
- Schlemmer Hardware
- Elnes Marketing
- JFW Sales & Marketing
- MK Enterprise
There have been six separate reports of the sump pumps smoking and burning due to overuse or overheating. There have been no large scale fires or severe injuries from the incidents, however. The company recommends that the sump pumps be disconnected immediately and put aside. Consumers can contact Star Water Systems and seek a full refund for the defective sump pump.
Injuries from a Fire Caused by a Defective Sump Pump
A defective sump pump could overheat and potentially short during its usage. It may not adequately de-water an area, which could make it go into overdrive – if it does, a fire could break out. Even a simple fire of the sump pump can be serious – you may suffer various burns simply trying to put it out before it goes any further.
Burn injuries range in severity from first-degree to third-degree. This dictates how much of the skin is damaged. First-degree burns are usually not that serious and return to normal after a few days; the skin turns red and is irritated, but it is like any other mild injury.
Second- and third-degree burns, on the other hand, are more serious. The skin may turn deep red, and in some cases, even turn white. The skin may blister and get infected from the open sores and wounds. The layers will be extremely damaged, and you may experience anything from total numbness of the area to extreme sensitivity to touch and heat. You may also suffer nerve damage in the area.
Some burns require skin grafts to repair, and even then, they may still linger with pain. Intense scarring and disfigurement can occur in the aftermath of serious burns.
There is also the chance that a fire could break out without you knowing it. A house fire is extremely dangerous and thousands of individuals die each year because they cannot escape the flames or they succumb to the smoke. The sump pump is usually located in the basement, which would make it hard to escape if the fire makes it to the first floor of the home.
Steps to Take to Sue Star Water Systems for a Defective Sump Pump
All product liability claims require that you show that the company was negligent in some manner. There must have been either a design error with the sump pump, a manufacturing error with the sump pump, or a lack of hazard signs and warning symbols on the sump pump. The fact that the sump pump could overheat likely means that it is a combination between a design flaw and a manufacturing error. The designers may not have accounted for the item being overworked, but the manufacturers may have used poor materials to create the device. Both could easily contribute to the cause of the defect.
We recommend following these steps to ensure that your case has a good foundation and is successful:
First, go to the doctor to get treatment for any injuries you suffered. It is important that you go to the hospital or medical center quickly – the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your injuries will worsen. Additionally, a gap between the incident and the treatment will be suspicious to the insurance agent – he will doubt how valid your claim is and will believe that you were hurt in another incident not involving the sump pump. Keep all medical records from the visit, as well as doctor’s notes, test results, medication prescriptions, and more.
Take photos of the injuries you suffered, the scene of the incident, and more. If you can show how the accident happened, it will be valuable to your case.
Be sure not to throw the sump pump away, repair it, take it somewhere to be fixed, or return it. If you get rid of it or tamper with it, the company will be able to deny the defect happened, or will be able to place doubt and say that you caused it in the first place. If you pursue a refund, you won’t be able to get future compensation.
Get statements from eyewitnesses, if there were any, who can attest to the defect. You may also encounter others who were injured because of the malfunction, which could open the doors ot a class action lawsuit.
Produce copies of your receipt, proof of purchase, bank statement, or anything else showing you rightfully bought the sump pump.
Once you have all of your evidence, find a product liability lawyer in Los Angeles. We will organize your proof, write your demand letter, and negotiate a fair deal from Star Water Systems for compensation for your injuries.
Restitution from a Product Liability Claim against Star Water Systems
A product liability lawsuit can result in various forms of compensation if you suffered injuries and losses. Our goal is to ensure you are fully compensated and do not owe any debts because of the incident that happened from a defective sump pump. We will do everything possible to win you damages such as:
- Medical bills and expenses from the past and future if you were injured in the incident
- Property damage to replace or repair lost or damaged personal items and belongings
- Pain and suffering damages if you were emotionally harmed, psychologically traumatized, and more
Lost wages if you were unable to return to work or could not go back to work in the future
Sometimes, a fire can lead to devastating consequences. If a family member or loved one dies in a fire caused by a defective sump pump, we can pursue wrongful death expenses, which will include funeral and burial fees, pre-death pain and suffering, pre-death medical bills, loss of consortium, loss of inheritance, and more.
The plan is to maximize your settlement and make sure that fees and debt are not things you should worry about after an incident.
Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Claims
The statute of limitations is the time during which you can file a lawsuit. If you do not file your claim within this time period, you will not be able to receive any compensation in the future and your lawsuit will be voided or rejected. You should pay careful attention to the dates that the incident happened and when injuries showed up. California has a limit of 2 years from the date of the injury to file a product liability lawsuit.
It is possible that the statute of limitations can be pushed beyond the normal deadline, though. For example, if a minor were injured, he cannot legally sue, and thus, he can wait until he turns 18 years old before the statute of limitations begins. Further, some individuals may be left incapacitated, whether mentally or physically, after a fire, and their statute of limitations won’t start until they return to functioning health, mind, or body. Additionally, the defendant must be present to sue – if he has vacated the state, the statute will be put on hold. It is important that you consult with an attorney to determine the correct deadlines for your lawsuit against Star Water Systems. The statute of limitations passes by much faster than you would expect, and the main reason that many individuals fail to receive compensation is due to a forgotten, missed, or mistaken statute of limitations.
Seasoned Lawyers for Your Product Liability Lawsuit
The Downtown LA Law Group is known for its expert attorneys and commitment to clients. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation from product liability claims over the years, and we know the best methods for success. Our lawyers are aggressive and will stop at nothing to win your claim.
For a free legal consultation, call our law offices. All consultations are totally confidential, so none of your case details or private information will be shared outside of our walls. We will answer all your questions and give you an evaluation of your case. We will also tell you more about our zero fee guarantee – we don’t get paid unless and until we win, and at no point will your own funds pay our legal fees. The company will cover our costs if we win, and we will eat the losses if we lose. You stand no financial risk by letting us represent you.
Let the Downtown LA Law Group help you sue Star Water Systems for injuries from a defective sump pump. Call our firm today.