Following a two-week trial, we are pleased to report that a Cook County jury awarded $1.7 million to a Lincolnwood family whose home sustained devastating property damage as a result of a dryer fire. In February 2006, John Molloy and Barbara Molloy bought a Fisher-Paykel clothes dryer from Abt Electronics, Inc. in Glenview.
When Abt installed the dryer, the installer failed to check if the dryer was vented to the outdoors, as was required in the Fisher-Paykel installation manual.
Noticing lint accumulating on the floor of the laundry room, in March 2009, Barbara Molloy called Abt to look at and fix the dryer. On March 27, 2009, Abt repairmen went to the Molloy home where they vacuumed the floor of the laundry room and replaced the hard vent.
The Abt repairmen failed to check inside the dryer for lint, failed to properly clean out the dryer vent, failed to make sure the dryer was vented to the outdoors and told Barbara that the dryer was safe to use. Four days later, on March 31, 2009, lint from inside the dryer cabinet ignited and quickly spread a fire throughout the entire second floor and attic of the Molloys’ home.
The Molloys’ expert witnesses testified at trial that, because the dryer was not vented to the outdoors, lint accumulated inside the dryer vent. They also testified that had Abt cleaned the inside of the dryer cabinet, the fire would not have occurred. As a result of Abt’s negligence, the Molloys’ home and all of the personal property inside sustained tremendous damage by fire, smoke, water and soot. The case was tried before Judge Thomas V. Lyons II in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The Defendants argued that the Molloys were negligent in failing to have their dryer vents cleaned. After two weeks of trial, the jury unanimously awarded the Molloys $1,813,635.19. After reducing 2% for the Molloys’ contributory negligence, the jury ultimately awarded the Molloys $1,777,362.30.