Successful compensation claim in case of tumble dryer fire
Faulty Indesit tumble dryer causes serious house fire resulting in loss of family pets and goods worth thousands.
This case success relates to a house fire which occurred in the home of our claimant on the 4th June 2016 and was handled by our expert solicitor Karl Kalina.
- We can only take on your claim if there is sufficient evidence that your machine had known faults or that the fire was caused by a defect.
- You will not be able to claim if you have content insurance covering your losses.
For you to be able to claim for a tumble dryer fire, the fire must have caused damage and loss that is not covered under any insurance that you have in place.
What was the case?
After three days away on a camping trip with her children and pet dogs, the claimant brought her eldest daughter and three dogs (two Chihuahuas and one Yorkshire terrier) back home before resuming the camping trip with just her younger children.
When her eldest daughter had returned home, she proceeded to turn the tumble dryer on before leaving to go and visit her boyfriend.
It wasn’t until a neighbour who spotted smoke emerging from the house urgently notified the claimant, who rushed home with her children as quickly as possible to find their kitchen completely charred and destroyed.
In addition to the kitchen, the living room, staircase, and several bedrooms suffered severe fire-related damage.
The claimant was also incredibly upset to find her three dogs and one cat had been unable to escape the fire and subsequently died.
As the claimant’s home was part of a housing association, support workers were able to offer her £25 per night so that she could stay in a hotel for nine nights with her children whilst the cause of the fire was investigated and repairs were carried out.
Report indicates fire may have been caused By Indesit tumble dryer
A fire brigade report indicated that the fire may have been started by a defective Indesit tumble dryer, which was turned on by the eldest daughter after coming home.
Indesit is a brand of appliances owned by the larger parent company Whirlpool who have been subject to controversy in the press after product recalls for dangerous tumble dryers.
As a result of the fire, the claimant suffered losses valuing £17,049.
This included £2,950 worth of damage to the living room and £1,895 worth of damage to her children’s bedrooms.
As the fire occurred in the kitchen, not one item in there was salvageable and over £9,000 worth of valuables were destroyed.
The loss of the aforementioned beloved family pets also valued over £2,000.
Whirlpool dispute claim and are reluctant to admit liability
Whirlpool disputed the claimant's case as they insisted that she had failed to meet the evidential burden. The tumble dryer had been disposed of, which made the manufacturer's efforts to assess the merits of the claimant's case difficult.
Whirlpool also raised the fact that the claimant had not disclosed any independent forensic report in respect to the potential cause of the fire.
Finally, Whirlpool raised the fact that an engineer (who was not an employee of Whirlpool or an engineer approved by the company) had been called out to repair the tumble dryer before the fire.
Whirlpool had no details of what repairs were needed and what repairs took place during the engineer's visit.
AWH opposed this argument as we had was clear proof that the repair work only involved the simple reinstalling of a belt reel, and this was amended 12 months prior to the fire.
We also had photographic evidence of the kitchen floor and tumble dryer which supported the claim that the fire started within the tumble dryer.
Whirlpool continued to defend the claim, maintaining that the claimant had not taken appropriate care of the appliance.
Despite being unable to gather forensic proof that the tumble dryer started the fire, we considered the claimant had a very strong case against the manufacturers.
Success for our claimant
AWH was able to provide evidence of some of the purchases made by the claimant by collecting several of her bank statements both before and after the fire, and there was enough documentation to prove our client had incurred genuine losses.
AWH Legal provided Whirlpool with a Schedule of Loss and supporting evidence on 4th April 2017.
Whirlpool maintained that liability was denied and that the claimant had still failed to meet the evidential burden. However, on 30th August 2017, Whirlpool's representatives, Plexus Law, made an offer to compromise the claim on a basis of less than damages initially claimed.
The offer of £8,000 was accepted and has since been paid to the claimant.
This case success proves that AWH will always seek justice for genuine claimants, even if our clients are not always able to provide proof of the losses they have faced in great detail.
Making a claim
If you’ve suffered losses or have been injured due to a fire caused by a Hotpoint, Whirlpool or Indesit tumble dryer, then AWH may be able to help you claim compensation.
We may be able to help you if it can be proven that your machine had known faults or that the fire was caused by a defect.
At the beginning of your claim we will always ask you for the serial number, so if you have a record of this, please have this ready when you get in touch.
A case such as this can be very challenging and in cases where there is not enough evidence we will unlikely be able to proceed with your claim. Our solicitors will inform you from the start what likely outcome you should expect and which next steps are available to you.
Don’t hesitate to contact us; our solicitors will be able to offer you sound legal advice on the steps to take if your property or possessions have been damaged by faulty appliances.
Hear more about the member(s) of our team featured above:
Karl KalinaSolicitor view profile
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