Boston Suburb House Fire Blamed on Defective Laptop

In the Boston suburb of Plymouth, Massachusetts the overheating of a Hewlett-Packard Co. laptop is being blamed for a house fire that destroyed John Norrie’s home and seriously injured Mr. Norrie as he escaped the fire.We always promote safety, and represent clients injured in product liability cases Law Office of Neil Burns. You can keep safe by following and staying up to date on recent product recalls: Product Recalls.

The laptop in question was later recalled by Hewlett-Packard, but this recall came too late for Mr. Norrie. Mr. Norrie’s lawyers have now filed a products liability lawsuit against the laptop-maker, and are seeking more than $225,000 in damages. The suit, first filed in Plymouth Superior Court, was transferred to US District Court in Boston. According to court papers, the laptop – a gift Norrie received six months before the fire – was defective.  Since 2005, Hewlett-Packard has announced recalls of its lithium-ion batteries four times in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulators. Customers affected by the recalls were able to receive replacement batteries at no charge.
In recent years, other computer makers, including Dell and Compaq, have also recalled millions of lithium-ion batteries because they were prone to overheating and posed a fire hazard. In 2006, Apple Inc.recalled 1.8 million battery packs because of the same issue.
The problems with computer batteries have led to several deaths. For instance, a 56-year-old Vancouver man was killed last August when his Hewlett-Packard laptop burst into flames on a couch. Care should be taken with laptop’s and the advise often given is that these devices should not be left on soft furniture because the material can block air vents and cause overheating.