GE Appliances announces Stewart Litigation settlement on 2015 fire

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The law firm of Jones Ward, PLC, General Electric Company, and Derby Industries have reached a settlement regarding the April 3, 2015, fire that destroyed Appliance Park Building 6. 

GE sold its Appliances business to Haier in June 2016.  The parties will submit the settlement to the Hon. Judge Susan Gibson, Jefferson County Circuit Court, for approval, and jointly administer the settlement over the next year.  The administration of the settlement will ensure public access to information about the settlement claims submission terms and process. 

The overall settlement fund for the class will be $1.2 million, including all attorneys’ fees and settlement administration costs.  This is in addition to the nearly $650,000 that GE and Derby already have paid to address property damage claims made by area residents.  Residents who were subject to a shelter-in-place advisory based on the distance between their home and the fire will receive a fixed amount, and residents with actual property damage will be able to submit claims to compensate them for their losses.  All attorneys’ fees and costs are subject to Court approval based on fairness.  The full details of the settlement will be available at GEFireSettlement.com after the Court preliminarily approves the settlement. 

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The settlement will be administered by the firm of Gentle, Turner, Sexton & Harbison, LLC, based in Birmingham, Alabama, which has administered numerous similar settlements, including the settlements involving the train derailments in West Point and Bullitt County in the past few years. 

After the Court has preliminarily approved the settlement, the Settlement Administrator will contact potential claimants with details on how to make a claim.  Anyone who does not receive a settlement notice or has questions should visit GEFireSettlement.com for additional details. 

Jones Ward PLC is a national law firm based in Louisville that works on class actions, products liability, and personal injury cases. 

GE Appliances is a leader of the global home appliance industry and a part of the Haier Group of companies. GE Appliances has 12,000 employees worldwide, including nearly 6,000 at its Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters, and operates five manufacturing sites in the U.S.

“We are pleased that after two years of litigation and negotiations, we were able to achieve a settlement that will provide compensation to area residents whose property may have been harmed by fire-related smoke and debris,” said Jasper Ward, attorney for the class.  “We hope as many people as possible who were affected by the fire will benefit from this settlement.  All the parties have committed to work to make sure the final results are fair, equitable, and approved by the Court.”

“Although the cause of the AP-6 fire remains unknown, we’re glad to work with counsel, our neighbors, and with their Metro Council members and community leaders as we continue to address the needs of neighbors whose property was impacted,” said Kim Freeman on behalf of GE Appliances, a Haier company.  “In addition to allowing affected individuals to file claims, we’re pleased that any funds that remain after claims have been satisfied will be used for neighborhood projects that can be enjoyed by the whole neighborhood.”  

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