Sprinkler Co Deal To End Water Damage Suit

Sprinkler Co Deal To End Water Damage Suit

In a dramatic turn of events, a clash in a Washington federal court between an insurance giant and a Michigan fire safety behemoth over a rogue sprinkler has reached a climactic close. The sprinkler, acting like an uncontrolled storm inside a Seattle apartment building, wreaked havoc, causing a staggering $1.1 million in water damage.

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Sprinkler Co Deal to End Water Damage Lawsuit: The Settlement

The dispute, which has been simmering in the legal cauldron, saw Ohio Security Insurance Co. lock horns with Viking Group Inc., accusing their sprinkler of unleashing an unwarranted deluge. However, in a recent development, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart wiped the court’s calendar clean of this case, announcing a settlement that extinguishes all claims and demands. This closure comes “with prejudice and without costs to any party,” a legal equivalent of a storm passing without further repercussions.

A Window to Reignite? The 60-Day Clause

Judge Robart’s pronouncement isn’t set in stone. He has left ajar a 60-day window, allowing either party to rekindle the legal flames should the settlement prove unsatisfactory. As of now, the details of this truce are shrouded in mystery, with representatives from both camps holding their cards close to their chests.

Sprinkler Co Deal to End Water Damage Lawsuit: EcoFlats Apartment Flooding

At the heart of this legal whirlwind is the EcoFlats apartment building in Seattle’s University District. A seemingly innocent Viking 457 model sprinkler, installed between 2015 and 2016, turned traitor in July 2021. This mechanical Judas, without any fire to quench, unleashed a flood, reminiscent of an indoor monsoon, drenching the building.

A History of Defects and Deception?

Ohio Security, in its court filings, painted a picture of a sprinkler system plagued with “well-known” defects, pointing to a series of lawsuits and a California class action as proof. The insurer, having forked out nearly $1.1 million in damages, turned its sights on Viking, demanding a financial reckoning.

Accusations and Allegations: A Four-Count Legal Assault

The insurer’s legal barrage accused Viking of not one, but four violations under the Washington Product Liability Act. The charges ranged from peddling defective and unsafe sprinklers to engaging in deceptive practices under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. The complaint also alleged that Viking breached implied warranties, painting a picture of a company that turned a blind eye to its product’s propensity for accidental activation.

The Legal Dance: From State to Federal Court

Initially filed in Washington state court in June, the case was whisked away to the federal court by Viking in July 2023. Representing the insurer is Marnie H. Silver of Clement & Drotz PLLC, while Viking’s defense is helmed by Per D. Jansen and Franco A. Corrado of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Sprinkler Co Deal to End Water Damage Lawsuit : A Settlement Shrouded in Mystery

As the curtain falls on this legal drama, the details of the settlement remain as elusive as the reasons behind the sprinkler’s unexpected activation. What’s clear, however, is that in the world of legal battles, sometimes the stormiest of cases can end not with a bang, but with a hushed, negotiated whisper.