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Computer sellers are responsable for damage caused by defective computers.


Posted on Jan 14, 2008

Computers are not usually considered to be dangerous equipment. Two recent computer fires however demonstrate that any equipment powered by electricity can be dangerous. Two unrelated product liability lawsuits, one involving a personal injury, have been filed against Dell and Hewlett-Packard for the alleged manufacturing of faulty computers that sparked fires. Both incidents involved the destruction of a building, but one also resulted in a girl being injured and disfigured. In one case, the owner of an auto lube shop in North Dakota claims the Dell monitor he purchased caught fire, which resulted in his business burning down. According to attorneys for Big Sky Battery of Williston, North Dakota, the manner in which the monitor was assembled caused the electrical system to malfunction, causing the fire. Big Sky claims that the business was “destroyed” by the fire, resulting in property damage totaling almost a quarter million dollars. Reimbursement and other damages are being sought by the company. In the other case, a man from Arkansas has filed suit against Hewlett Packard, alleging that the Compaq Presario PC he bought at Wal-Mart burst into flames, which resulted in a fire that caused his house to be destroyed and his daughter to be seriously injured. According to the claim of Keith Price, his daughter Magdelyn had to jump from an upstairs window in order to escape the blaze. According to papers filed in Conway, Arkansas’ county court in the month of December, she suffered “burns and physical injuries” and permanent disfigurement due to the fire. Price is also claiming to have suffered “extreme mental anguish” and is accusing HP of negligence, seeking damages that have not been specified. Price also claims to have suffered "extreme mental anguish." He's accusing HP of negligence and is seeking unspecified damages. North Carolina law requires that when the consuming public buys a product , the customer gets an implied warranty (or guarantee) that the product if fit for the purpose for which it was purchased. Of course a computer which catches fire is not fit for the purpose for which it was purchased. Therefore, if the two fires had occurred in North Carolina, the victims of the fires could bring a products liability claim.

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