Consumer Sues Outdoor Cooking Equipment Manufacturer Over Defective Electric Smokers

A recent class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois accuses a prominent manufacturer of outdoor cooking equipment of selling defective digital electric smokers that pose a significant risk of electric shock to consumers. The complaint, filed by Monica Fares on June 12, 2024, targets Char-Broil, LLC and alleges multiple violations including breach of warranty and consumer fraud.

The lawsuit centers around several models of Char-Broil’s digital electric smokers, which were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 15, 2024. According to the CPSC recall notice, approximately 211,700 units sold between April 2015 and January 2024 could leak electrical current during use, posing an electric shock hazard. The plaintiff contends that Char-Broil received at least 79 reports of minor electric shocks from consumers using these products before the recall was issued.

Monica Fares purchased one such smoker from in May 2023 for $349.99. She claims she experienced electric shocks while using the product and subsequently stopped using it after learning about the recall. Fares argues that Char-Broil failed to disclose this defect despite knowing about it and continued to market their products as safe and reliable. “Defendant’s representations are false and misleading because the Noticed Products contain a material defect,” states the complaint.

The lawsuit further criticizes Char-Broil’s remedy offered through the recall—a repair kit that includes a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) plug which consumers must install themselves. The plaintiff asserts that this solution is inadequate as it places additional burdens on consumers and does not fully address safety concerns. Fares also expressed distrust in the effectiveness of this fix, noting ongoing issues with her electrical outlet even after installing the repair kit.

Fares seeks various forms of relief including compensatory damages for economic losses incurred due to purchasing defective products, restitution for unjust enrichment obtained by Char-Broil through misleading marketing practices, and injunctive relief requiring Char-Broil to fully disclose safety risks associated with their products. The case also calls for punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

This article was first published in Cook County Record.

Leave a Reply