Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has sued a hoverboard importer and sellers in a New York federal court on behalf of a policyholder whose home caught fire after she brought home the toy. Nationwide says that importer Cherytek LLC and reseller and distributor Liberty Seamless Enterprises Inc., and another seller should have to pay for the damage caused to Catherine Burton-Girardi’s house on May 22, 2016. The suit says:
A defectively designed and manufactured hoverboard overheated, thereby causing the fire. The fire caused substantial damage and destruction to both Burton-Girardi’s home and her property, it claims – at least $75,000 worth.
Nationwide, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is standing in Burton-Girardi’s shoes in the lawsuit. A “minor relative” of Burton-Girardi bought the hoverboard some time before May 22, 2016, Nationwide says, from hoverboard seller Shaun Marks of Elmira, New York, who is also a Defendant.
Nationwide believes that Rochester-based Cherytek imported the hoverboard and then sold it to Knoxville, Pennsylvania, based Liberty Seamless, which sold it to Marks. Claims in the suit are for strict product liability, including failure to warn Burton-Girardi of the danger posed by the hoverboard, and negligence. The negligence claim is quite detailed as to the possible nexus of the negligence: It could have come from “design, manufacture, assembly, testing, installation and inspection” or a host of other sources, like failing to exercise a reasonable level of care, the suit says. There is also a count for breach of implied warranty of merchantability.
The case is Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Cherytek LLC et al., (case number 1:17-cv-00422) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.
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