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TMCNet:  Hagens Berman: Consumers Sue Fluidmaster Inc., Claim It Knowingly Sold Defective Toilet Parts, Causing Millions of Dollars in Damages

[June 30, 2014]

Hagens Berman: Consumers Sue Fluidmaster Inc., Claim It Knowingly Sold Defective Toilet Parts, Causing Millions of Dollars in Damages

SEATTLE --(Business Wire)--

Consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Fluidmaster Inc., according to attorneys at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, claiming that the plumbing product and toilet repair company knowingly sold defective toilet connectors that spontaneously broke, causing millions of dollars in property damage at homeowners' expense.

The complaint, filed Apr. 24, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, states that Fluidmaster elected to sell faulty plastic toilet connectors even when it was mechanically and financially feasible for the company to sell an existing, safer alternative design. According to the suit, more than a million defective toilet connectors were sold in the U.S.

Affected consumers are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman by emailing Fluidmaster@hbsslaw.com or by calling 206-623-7292. Additional information about the suit is available at http://www.hbsslaw.com/cases-and-investigations/Fluidmaster-Inc-.

Upon realizing that its plastic toilet connectors were routinely cracking, leaking and causing significant damage, Fluidmaster allegedly responded by lowering its 1-year warranty to five years, according to the suit.


"Instead of notifying consumers of these defects and accepting responsibility for the damages, Fluidmaster chose to remain silent," said Anthony Shapiro, partner at Hagens Berman. "We believe that consumers deserve to be compensated."

The suit's two named plaintiffs experienced massive property damage after their Fluidmaster toilet connectors spontaneously failed. One of the plaintiffs, Brian Kirsch, received a call while on vacation from his garbage collector informing Kirsch that water was spilling from an upstairs window of his home and raining into his garage. Kirsch's home had to be gutted and completely renovated while he and his family were displaced.

"We're talking about millions of dollars in property damage due to these faulty products - an occurrence that continues to impact consumers," Shapiro said. "Fluidmaster chose to never recall, inspect, repair or replace these knowingly defective toilet connectors."

Due to the material and design of the toilet connector, the plastic was susceptible to bending with weight and pressure over time, according to the suit. The complaint also cites the company's poor instructions and warnings that failed to provide the customer with sufficient information to safely and properly install the connectors.

After reducing the product's warranty, Fluidmaster began to redesign the toilet connector in mid-2011, marketing and selling a new, reinforced connector. According to the complaint, the company never publicized that the product was redesigned and did not recall the defective products from its distribution networks. It also did not notify property owners that the defective products could spontaneously fail and should be replaced - keeping the defective products in use, according to the complaint.

About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights, class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal's Plaintiffs' Hot List seven times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. The firm's class-action law blog is located at www.classactionlawtoday.com.


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