Sears Roebuck & Co., in addition to three other appliance retailers, has been named in a federal lawsuit that claims they were negligent in ignoring fire-hazard warnings by using metal foil and plastic vents when installing dryers. Home Depot Inc., Lowe’s Cos., and HHGregg Inc. are also named in the complaint filed in four U.S. District Courts, including in Northern Illinois. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status.
The suit says, “The leading cause of clothes dryer fires is due to improper installation of vents and excessive buildup of lint within the dryer.” It cites figures from the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, showing dryers were involved in an estimated 15,600 building fires, causing 15 deaths, between 2002 and 2004.
A Sears spokesman declined to comment. (AP)