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Leigh Day settles Hotpoint dishwasher fire case

Product liability lawyers secure dishwasher fire compensation

Posted on 03 April 2014

The product liability team at Leigh Day is pleased to report that is has secured an out of court settlement for Mr Robert David and his partner following a house fire allegedly caused by a Hotpoint FDW20P Dishwasher.

On 21 January 2013, Mr David loaded and switched on his Hotpoint dishwasher before taking a short trip to the local shop. When he returned home, he could hear that the fire alarms were sounding inside his home.

When he opened the front door he was met by plumes of thick acrid black smoke and intense heat.  He could also see flames inside the kitchen.  He tried to enter the house, but had to retreat quickly as he could not stand the heat and smoke.

The house was in darkness as the electrics had tripped.  After rescuing his dog from the property, Mr David was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.  He was subsequently admitted to the A&E department at the Princess of Wales Hospital.

The couple’s home was destroyed by fire and smoke damage and they were forced to stay in alternative accommodation for the next few months. 

The fire brigade issued an incident report linking the fire to the dishwasher.

A claim for compensation was made for personal injuries, distress and inconvenience and other uninsured losses against Indesit Company UK Ltd, the manufacturers of Hotpoint dishwashers in the UK, was successfully settled with the payment of compensation but without an admission of liability.

Hotpoint dishwasher fire recall

Hotpoint published a voluntary recall notice in April 2013 for dishwashers from its FDW2&6 range highlighting a potential fire risk following reports of a number of incidents involving this product.

The affected dishwashers were manufactured between June 2006 and March 2007 and include models numbered FDW201, FDW601 and FDW65A.

On 17 June 2013 Hotpoint sent Mr David and his partner a letter warning them about the potential fire hazard that certain models of dishwasher could pose.

Unfortunately, this warning came too late to save our client’s home.

Mr David said:

“I am so pleased that Leigh Day obtained justice for us.  Had Hotpoint taken action when they were warned to by Which? in April 2012, we feel our lives needn’t have been put at risk”.

Thomas Jervis said:

“We are delighted to have achieved a successful settlement. We are only sorry that our clients suffered this ordeal in the first place when it could perhaps have been avoided”.

In July 2013, Leigh Day launched the “Expect It’s Safe” campaign for safer household appliances.  The campaign calls for manufacturers to do more to make the public aware of potentially lethal faults with their products.