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Court to Notify Washingtonians -- Who Own or Owned a High Efficiency Furnace -- About Their Rights in a Class Action Lawsuit.

TACOMA, Wash., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A statewide notice program authorized by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington began today in order to issue notices to those who own or owned a high efficiency furnace in Washington State that was made by Carrier Corporation ("Carrier") after January 1, 1989. The notices are a result of the Court establishing or "certifying," in May 2007, a class action lawsuit about whether Carrier disclosed defects in the secondary heat exchangers of its high efficiency furnaces.

The lawsuit is called Grays Harbor Adventist Christian School v. Carrier Corporation, No. CV05-5437. The lawsuit includes Washington residents who own or owned a Carrier 90% high efficiency condensing furnace with a polypropylene-laminated ("PPL") secondary heat exchanger that was made after January 1, 1989. Former owners are only included if they experienced a secondary heat exchange failure. These furnaces were sold under the brand names "Carrier," "Bryant," "Payne," and "Day & Night."

This is not about personal injuries or emotional distress. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that Carrier made its high-efficiency furnaces out of inferior material that corrodes and prematurely fails, without disclosing that fact to consumers. The lawsuit claims that the inferior material is a PPL mild steel, instead of the industry standard of stainless steel. The lawsuit charges that the PPL degrades and disintegrates due to the high temperatures in the furnace and leads to premature corrosion. The lawsuit seeks money or benefits for the Class.

Carrier answers saying it stands behind the design of its furnaces and denies the allegations in the lawsuit. Carrier asserts that its patented PPL heat exchangers, which are the result of years of investigation and testing, exceed industry standards for corrosion. The company also says it honors its warranty on its furnaces, which are among the most energy efficient in use today.

The Court has not decided whether the Class or Carrier is right. The lawyers for the Class will have to prove their claims at a trial set to begin on February 11, 2008.

The Court appointed the law firms of Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC of Seattle, Washington and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP of New York, New York to represent the Class as "Class Counsel."

Those who wish to remain members of the Class don't have to do anything at this time and will be informed about any claims process that results from the trial or any proposed settlement. Class members will be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court.

Class members may exclude themselves from the Class. To do so, they must mail a letter stating that they want to be excluded from Grays Harbor v. Carrier Corporation and include their name, address, telephone number, and signature. Exclusion requests must be postmarked by December 10, 2007, and sent to Carrier Exclusions, PO Box 4540, Portland, OR 94208-4540. Class members who exclude themselves from the Class cannot participate in any recovery for the Class, and will not be bound by any court orders or judgments.

For more information and a detailed Notice, Class members may write to the above address, or see the website at

CONTACT: Jonathan Selbin of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, +1-212-355-9500; or Kim Stephens of Tousley Brian Stephems PLLC, +1-206-682-5600

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 2007
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