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Insurer Demands $12 Million From Electrolux

CHICAGO (CN) - State Farm Insurance claims that lint-fueled fires in Electrolux clothes dryers have cost it $12 million in claims.

State Farm wants Electrolux, the second-largest home appliance manufacturer in the world, to pony up the $12 million.

According to the federal complaint for negligence and strict liability: "the clothes dryers were designed and manufactured with a heater pan directly behind the drum and in direct proximity to the heat source, either a gas burner flame or electric heating element, so that lint released by the laundry tumbling in the drum could migrate to and accumulate behind the drum and in the heater pan where it could be ignited by the heat source of the clothes dryer."

State Farm claims Electrolux "carelessly and negligently designed and manufactured the clothes dryer without conducting any fire risk studies on the design of the product."

It claims that the appliances were shipped "without any warnings contained on the clothes dryer that lint can accumulate and ignite in areas behind the drum and within the combustible plastic air duct and/or blower housing, which areas are not visible to or serviceable by the user."

In a separate complaint in the same court, Electrolux faces similar charges from Metropolitan Auto & Home, an affiliate of MetLife, demanding more than $100,000 on behalf of two married policyholders.

State Farm is represented by William Hoffmann with Grotefeld, Hoffmann, Schleiter, Gordon & Ochoa.

Metropolitan Auto & Home is represented by Douglas Lange with Foran, Glennon, Palandech, Ponzi & Rudloff.

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