Carrier/Bryant Thermostatic Expansion Valve Defect Class Action

Carrier/Bryant Thermostatic Expansion Valve Defect Class Action., No.  8: 15-cv-01985 (C.D. Cal.)

Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (“CSK&D”) is representing consumers in a putative class action against Carrier Corporation arising out of defects in air conditioners manufactured by Carrier under numerous brand names, including Carrier, Bryant, Payne, Arcoaire, Heil, and Comfortmaker.

The case arises out of the use of an unapproved rust inhibitor, which causes sticky deposits to form on an internal valve, called the thermostatic expansion valve or “TXV,” resulting in performance loss or a complete failure, sometimes called a “frozen coil.”

The plaintiffs allege that the unapproved rust inhibitor was present in virtually all Carrier-manufactured air conditioners from December 2013 through August 2014. Carrier allegedly discovered the defect by May or June 2014, but nevertheless continued to sell the air conditioners without disclosing the defect to consumers.

Further, when TXV failures occur, rather than perform adequate repairs, the plaintiffs allege that Carrier instructs service personnel to inject a highly acidic additive to dissolve the clogs. The plaintiffs allege that although it is usually successful at dissolving clogs, the acidic additive also causes serious collateral damage, including premature compressor wear and dissolving of internal metal components.

The Court Upholds Plaintiffs’ Omission-based Claims

On January 24, 2017, the Court denied Carrier’s motion to dismiss in part and permitted plaintiffs’ claims to proceed based on Carrier’s alleged failure to disclose the defect. The parties have engaged in substantial discovery, including expert discovery, depositions, document production, and written discovery.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification

In the spring of 2019, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ initial motion for class certification, without prejudice, and allowed plaintiffs an opportunity to file a renewed motion. On July 22, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a renewed motion for class certification. That motion is currently pending.

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Attorneys for this case:

Timothy N. Mathews
Zachary P. Beatty