DETROIT- LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs -Class counsel announced that homeowners in Michigan today filed a class action lawsuit against Carrier Corporation, the manufacturer of Carrier and Bryant condensing furnaces (also marketed under the brand names “Day & Night” and “Payne”). The homeowners allege that beginning in the mid-1980s, Carrier started manufacturing its high-end furnaces out of inferior material that corrodes and prematurely fails, without disclosing that fact to consumers. The case was filed on behalf of an estimated 250,000 residents of Michigan that own Carrier and Bryant furnaces.
“When my Bryant furnaces failed, I was told that I would have to buy new furnaces or pay significant charges for their repair because the warranty only covered parts and not the labor,” commented Frank Zinn of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “Why should I have to spend thousands of dollars on new furnaces when mine were supposed to last 20 years?”
“Michigan homeowners often run their furnaces for at least five months of the year,” stated Lester A. Pines, counsel for plaintiffs. “It is of great concern that Carrier would sell a furnace that could potentially malfunction in the dead of winter well before the end of their warranted life.”
Today’s lawsuit marks the fourth class action lawsuit filed against Carrier Corporation for failing to disclose defects in its furnaces. In 2005, homeowners in the State of Washington filed suit. Two months ago, homeowners in Wisconsin and Ontario also filed class action complaints.
The complaints in each case allege that in the mid-1980s Carrier stopped using stainless steel secondary heat exchangers in favor of cheaper polypropylene-laminated mild steel. Carrier switched to the cheaper product despite the fact that the industry standard was (and still is) to use stainless steel parts to prevent corrosion. Plaintiffs allege that the polypropylene separates from the steel and degrades due to the high temperatures in the furnace, exposing the underlying mild steel to acidic condensate. In some cases the corrosion proceeds to the point of actually perforating the outside wall of the heat exchanger.
In the United States, Carrier warrants the heat exchanger for the lifetime of the original purchaser and for 20 years for subsequent purchasers. Despite the warranty, plaintiffs allege that Carrier’s condensing furnaces fail prematurely and well before their warranted and expected life.
Homeowners can learn more about this action and report their experiences with Carrier, Bryant, Day & Night, or Payne condensing furnaces to class counsel by visiting http://www.lieffcabraser.com/furnace.htm.
Representing the plaintiffs are attorneys Lester A. Pines and Kira E. Loehr of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach LLP, and the law firms of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC, and Edwards & Hagen PS.