Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Lawsuit Filed Against Wickes Over Carpeting

May 08, 1987|MARTHA GROVES | Times Staff Writer

A former dealer of Collins & Aikman carpeting has filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia against Wickes Cos., the carpet manufacturer's parent, alleging breaches of warranty and violation by Collins & Aikman of federal and state law and seeking damages that would "far exceed $20 million."

The suit, filed Wednesday, is the first against Santa Monica-based Wickes since its disclosure April 15 that it had learned that an undetermined amount of Collins & Aikman carpeting sold in the last decade did not meet local flammability and smoke density codes.

The specter of lawsuits seeking millions of dollars of damages has loomed large for Wickes, which bought Collins & Aikman in January for $1.16 billion.

Edmund M. Kaufman, a Wickes director and senior partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella, said Thursday of the suit that "I'm not shocked. I always knew it was a possibility that somebody might sue."

He added, "My view from reading the complaint is that I think we will vigorously defend."

The suit, which seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Henry Rosenfeld, who is identified as a resident of Pennsylvania who sold carpeting under the name of Savage & Kirsh. According to the suit, Rosenfeld purchased from 1975 to 1981 "substantial quantities" of residential, commercial and institutional carpeting that was "represented by the corporation to be fire resistant and to produce low-density smoke in case of fire."

"Contrary to Collins & Aikman's representations," the suit alleged, "the products offered and sold by it were not sufficiently fire resistant . . . but instead were unreasonably flammable and produced toxic, high-density smoke when on fire."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|