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Archdiocese of Boston Files $10 Million Products Liability Lawsuit Against Whirlpool

In Norfolk Superior Court, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston filed a products liability lawsuit against Whirlpool seeking $10 million for compensation related to a seven-alarm refrigerator-caused fire that destroyed the Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth on June 9, 2005.

The lawsuit accuses Whirlpool of negligence and knowing that it was placing the 134-year-old church under unreasonable risk of harm. The Archdiocese is alleging that the company breached its implied warranty because the refrigerator was in a defective state and therefore hazardous and that the home appliance manufacturer should have known or knew that it had subjected the church to unreasonable risk.The complaint also accuses Whirlpool of violating the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

It cost over $10 million to rebuild the church, which was burned to the ground. The Weymouth Fire Department, Weymouth Police Department, the Office of the State Fire Marshall, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted a joint investigation. A malfunction in an old refrigerator in the church basement was determined to be the cause of the fire.

Products can become defective during the design phase or while they are being manufactured. A manufacturer may also have breached its warranty for a specific product. Our defective products lawyers will work with experts to identify the defect and determine whether the manufacturer, designer, or retailer could have acted to prevent the defect. If product is not defective, and you are injured because of a malfunction, the manufacturer could still be held strictly liable.

Archdiocese files $10M suit agains Whirlpool in ’05 blaze, Boston Herald.com, July 2, 2008
Weymouth church destroyed, Boston.com, June 10, 2005

Related Web Resources:

Whirlpool Corp.

Archdiocese of Boston

Mass Law About Consumer Protection