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
"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
"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
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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