Shaun Zinck Jun. 3, 2015, 3:10pm


Sears faces allegations that one of its lawnmower brands has a faulty fuel line that potentially can catch fire.

Rebecca Rysewky, Mary Rood, Brian Van Vooren and Katie Smith filed a lawsuit May 21 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Sears Corporation, alleging Sears' brand of Craftsman riding lawnmowers has a serious defect in the fuel lines.

According to the complaint, the fuel line is “inadequately secured” and can become dislodged from the gas tank while in use. The fuel line is near the lawnmowers' drive belts along with the electrical components.

“When either the fuel line dislodges or becomes worn through friction with the belts or pulleys, or the electrical components become worn from friction from the nearby pulleys, the lawnmower’s fuel drips onto the mowing bed and catches on fire,” the lawsuit said.

The suit also alleges a fire can ignite just after the mower is stored, a risk to the owners' property as well. The lawsuit says Sears knew about the fuel line defect but chose not to recall the lawnmowers.

The suit seeks class status for those who purchased the Craftsman lawnmowers and also seeks more than $5 million in damages plus court costs. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Edward A. Wallace and Amy E. Keller of Wexler Wallace in Chicago; Gregory F. Coleman, Adam Edwards and Lisa A. White of Greg Coleman Law in Knoxville, Tennessee; and Shanon J. Carson, Michael T. Fantini and Jeff Osterwise of Berger & Montague in Philadelphia.

U.S. Distric

t Court for the Northern District of Illinois case number 1:15-cv-04519.

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