Sears’ Motion to Dismiss Largely Denied
Purchasers of Craftsman riding lawnmowers can proceed on nearly all of their claims against Sears after Judge Manish S. Shah of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois largely denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss last week. Plaintiffs allege that Sears sold certain models of Craftsman riding lawnmowers with a dangerous defect that makes them prone to catching on fire. Plaintiffs allege that the lawnmowers’ fuel lines are inadequately secured and have a propensity to dislodge or become worn from friction, which causes fuel to leak onto the mowing bed.
Sears filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and a separate motion to strike the class allegations from Plaintiffs’ complaint. Sears argued, in part, that the lawnmowers were merchantable, because they were capable of performing their essential function of cutting grass. The Court rejected this argument by saying it is reasonable to infer that the lawnmowers’ predisposition to having dislodged fuel lines that can leak and cause a fire is “a condition [that] would not pass without objection in the trade of riding lawnmowers.”
Judge Shah held that Plaintiffs’ express warranty, implied warranty of merchantability, negligence, strict liability, and injunctive and declaratory relief claims can all move forward. The Judge also denied Sears’ motion to strike Plaintiffs’ class allegations. To read the complaint in its entirety click here. Judge Shah’s order is available here.
Plaintiffs are represented by Wexler Wallace, along with Berger & Montague, P.C. and Greg Coleman Law PC.
If you purchased a Craftsman lawnmower from Sears that has inadequately secured fuel lines and/or has caught on fire, or would like more information about this action, please contact us at 312-346-2222 or fill out our online form.