This lawsuit alleges that Fluidmaster, Inc. “NO-BURST” stainless steel water supply lines were defectively designed, causing the lines to routinely and prematurely rupture, in violation of consumer protection laws.
California based Fluidmaster, Inc. manufactures toilet repair products for professional builders, plumbers and consumers for do-it-yourself repair projects. The company supplies a variety of products, including valves, flappers, tank levers, gaskets and cleaners online and through major retailers, with United States and worldwide manufacturing facilities.
California resident Kevin Smith had a NO-BURST Line installed in his home that was connected to a faucet in an upstairs bathroom. In July 2014, after water began flooding into a bathroom and hallway near the kitchen, Smith determined that the source of the water was the upstairs bathroom where he observed a hole in his NO-BURST Line. After receiving a $5,000.00 repair estimate, Smith completed some of the recommended repairs and had out-of-pocket expenses of approximately $2,500.
On December 30, 2015, Smith filed his class action suit against Fluidmaster (U.S. District Court Central District of California) alleging that their “NO-BURST” braided stainless steel supply lines routinely and prematurely rupture and burst due to a defective design. The complaint alleges Fluidmaster breached warranties, was negligent, violated consumer protection laws and unlawfully profited from the sale of the defective supply lines, claiming: “These NO-BURST water supply lines burst because Fluidmaster uses an inferior grade of stainless steel that is susceptible to corrosion from everyday household cleaners that are expected to be used and stored in close proximity to the water supply lines.” According to the complaint, Fluidmaster designed, manufactured, and marketed water supply lines for use with various household fixtures including faucets, toilets, and dishwashers and that the water supply lines had certain latent defects that made them unfit for their intended purpose. Smith’s claim alleges that “Fluidmaster used inadequate low-pressure flexible rubber tubing that easily bursts if the stainless steel braiding intended to protect the tubing corrodes from ordinary exposure to water, air, and household products” and that the company continued to sell the defective products after it changed the design in 2003 to address the design defect. The defects associated with Fluidmaster NO-BURST water supply lines are alleged to be so severe that the water supply lines must be removed sooner than reasonably expected. The water supply line alleged defects are claimed to cause line ruptures that harm not only the water supply lines, but also damage other real and personal property due to the flooding that does or will occur due to the described defects and that there is a serious risk of harm in the event such flooding takes place in areas where electrical outlets, appliances, and related household items could cause electrocution to individuals who may come into contact with or near those items because water is an electrical conductor.
Smith seeks class certification for a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Fluidmaster’s NO-BURST waterlines, as well as a California subclass. He also seeks damages, attorney fees and an injunction or order for equitable relief.