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Court Rules Dometic Immune In Fire Damage Suit

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Dometic, alleging that the fire that extensively damaged a storage building and personal property owned by plaintiffs was caused by a defective Dometic refrigerator installed in their RV.

The 8th Circuit of Iowa affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Dometic, holding that Dometic was immune from liability under Iowa Code 613.18 because it sold, but did not manufacture, design, or assemble, the refrigerator.

The court held that any design input by Dometic was not related in any way to the boiler tubes, or that Dometic had any role in designing the boiler tubes.

From the Court of Appeals filing:

“This diversity action arose from a fire in 2014 that extensively damaged a storage building and personal property owned by Mark and Debra Merfeld, including a 2003 Forest River Cardinal RV the Merfelds purchased in 2005 and stored in the building. The Merfelds sued Dometic Corp., alleging that the fire was caused by a defective Dometic refrigerator installed in the RV when it was manufactured by Forest River.

“The Merfelds point to no evidence in the summary judgment record establishing a causal connection between Dometic’s alleged design input and the dangerous condition in the product that gives rise to their claim.”

To read the full ruling, click here.

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