PETOSKEY, Mich. – An insurance company has filed a lawsuit seeking $1.8 million from Hallmark Cards and another company over a defective snow globe blamed for a fire that destroyed a home in northern Michigan.
The Jumbo Snowman snow globe was recalled in December 2008, weeks after a fire destroyed the Petoskey home of Stephen and Florence Hajek, who own two card stores. Federal regulators at the time said the globe could act as a magnifying glass in the sun and cause a fire.
Auto-Owners Insurance paid $1.8 million after the Hajek home was destroyed. Snow globes and other store inventory were at their home.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 2 in federal court in Grand Rapids, accuses Hallmark and a Taiwan company of negligence and product liability. It claims "inappropriate materials in the shell and interior fluid" of the globe caused an unsafe medium for sunlight to pass through.
Hallmark, based in Kansas City, Mo., declined to comment on the lawsuit.
There were 7,000 snow globes when the product was recalled, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. They were priced at $100 each.