Zavareei travelled to Michigan last year to meet with the owner of the microwave. It was his GE microwave oven, manufactured by Samsung, which somehow started on fire while he was out of the house. "We have been investigating complaints about General Electric appliances for some time and from what we understand there are several types of appliances that have problems," Zavareei adds.
His firm, Tykco and Zavareei, located in Washington D.C., was approached recently by a consumers' organization that has been cataloguing complaints about GE appliances, but it was the microwave problems that really began to stand out. "We learned from them that there were many complaints from consumers about spontaneous fires in GE microwaves manufactured by Samsung."
Because there is a broad range of GE microwaves with complaints against them, Zavareei is reluctant to be pinned down to specific model numbers. The suit filed on May 19, 2009 seeks national class certification on behalf of all people who own GE brand microwave ovens manufactured by Samsung for GE since January 1, 2000.
"We are alleging that GE has known about the problem for quite a few years and they have even been investigated by the Consumer Product Safety board," the attorney adds. "We think and we are alleging there are some serious defects going on here--microwaves should not turn on and start fire, but that is what has happened in an alarming number of cases."
"We believe this has been a systemic problem that has been going on for some time," says Zavareeri. The suit names both GE and Samsung as defendants in the suit. "We have served some requests on the Consumer Product Safety Board (CPSB); however we do not have any responses as yet."
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The firm has successfully litigated a number of national class actions.
Hassan Zavareei earned his law degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. He graduated from Duke University in 1990. Tykco and Zavareei opened their firm in 2004.