Cayman’s power provider, the Caribbean Utilities Company, is suing a U.S.-based manufacturer for allegedly selling it defective electrical equipment, costing CUC “millions of dollars” in damages and potentially endangering residents.
According to documents filed with the U.S. Southern District Court of Mississippi, CUC states that it purchased numerous stainless-steel distribution transformers for its operations from the Mississippi-based Howard Industries Inc. between 2000 and 2016.
However, the transformers and/or their component parts were defective and eventually failed, CUC claims.
“Such defects were latent, and it took time for the latent defects to manifest,” CUC states in its claim, which was filed last November.
CUC claims that Howard Industries intentionally concealed design defects, manufacturing deviations, substandard manufacturing practices, and other problems in order to “induce” the utilities company to continue to buy equipment from the manufacturer.
“The failures in and defects to the transformers made them dangerous to human life and to property,” CUC states in its lawsuit. “The danger includes, but is not limited to, the transformers leaking hazardous oil on persons and/or property and falling from high locations on persons and/or property and causing damage due to their defective condition.”
CUC is seeking refunds for all its costs and damages, which it claims to be in the millions of dollars.
In a response filed in January, Howard Industries denies the allegations of wrongdoing against it, including the allegations that the transformers were defective.
“[Howard Industries] respectfully requests that [CUC’s] complaint against it be dismissed with prejudice, with costs assessed against [CUC],” Howard Industries states.
On Feb. 22, U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett set a pretrial conference for May 16, 2019, and a trial to begin on June 3, 2019. All discovery will be completed by Jan. 2, 2019, and all motions for amendments to the pleadings must be filed by March 23 of this year, he ordered.