Exploding Toilets Case Settles For $18M

Exploding Toilets Case Settles For $18M Photo: Consumer Product Safety Commission Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist flushing system.

A federal judge has approved an $18 million class action settlement involving defects that caused hundreds of toilets to explode.

In 2012, more than 2.3 million Flushmate flushing systems were recalled following more than 300 reports of toilet tanks exploding. The flushing systems use air pressure to conserve water.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California approved a settlement that would reimburse owners of toilets with a Flushmate system for repairs and replacements.

Sloan Valve Co., the Franklin Park, Ill., parent company of Flushmate, and the other defendants—AS America Inc., which does business as American Standard Brands; Kohler Co.; Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC, part of Globe Union Industrial Corp.; Mansfield Plumbing Products LLC; and The Home Depot USA Inc.—did not admit liability as part of the settlement.

Otero also approved $4.5 million in attorney fees, plus $134,000 in costs and expenses, to eight law firms: Birka-White Law Offices in Danville, Calif.; San Francisco’s Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; New York’s Parker Waichman; Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman in Philadelphia; Audet & Partners of San Francisco; Chicago’s Wexler Wallace; Holland Groves in St. Louis; and Geragos & Geragos in Los Angeles. He also gave $1,000 to each of the class representatives.

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