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North Okanagan

Councillor denies lawsuit

A former mayor and current Coldstream councillor Gyula Kiss says the media has made a mistake, and that he is not suing Walmart.

“There is nothing much I can tell you, because I did not file a lawsuit,” says Kiss.

“This first thing that I heard about it is off the news.”

The Canadian Press was first to report that Kiss had filed a lawsuit against Walmart, claiming a heater purchased from the retail giant caused a fire that burned down his home -- other media outlets later picked up the story.

Kiss says that as far as he knows, the facts being reported are completely incorrect.

“I didn’t file a lawsuit and I didn’t even know there was a lawsuit filed until I saw it on TV,” he says.

“The only thing I can think is that the insurance company filed a suit, but they neglected to tell me about it and I’ve been hit from behind because I didn’t know anything about it.”

The councillor says he has not received any paperwork, signed any documents or even hired a lawyer.

“Apparently I have been quoted as saying this and that in a news article and I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know about it.”

Kiss goes on to say that if he had any evidence the heater purchased at Wal-Mart did cause the fire that burned down his home in Jan. 2011, he would have filed a lawsuit long ago.

“If someone filed a suit on behalf of me, they neglected to tell me,” he says.

“Someone found the document that was filed and my name is on it, but I didn’t know about it.”

The lawsuit alleges Walmart and the heater's maker Fusion Canada had a duty to warn of any defects and to ensure the heater was reasonably inspected before its sale.

Kiss says he is unsure what he will do next and has not yet been able to contact his insurance company.



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