Summerville firm sought bankruptcy to protect jobs, lawyer says
A Summerville water heater maker that filed for bankruptcy protection last week did so to keep its employees working while it tries to settle a legal dispute, the company’s attorney said.
Geoffrey Levy of Columbia said in a written statement late Friday that Eccotemp Systems LLC also wanted to be able to continue to serve its customers.
The company filed for bankruptcy about three weeks after being hit with a $757,000 legal judgment.
An Upstate plumbing company, Amo, sued after installing 75 Eccotemp-made tankless water heaters in homes in the Midlands. Some of the units froze, causing pipes to burst in some of the homes, according to Amo’s attorney.
A Dorchester County jury sided with Amo and awarded it $757,000.
Friday’s bankruptcy filing halted all efforts by creditors to collect money from Eccotemp. Levy said the company anticipates appealing the verdict and judgment.
“In the meantime, Eccotemp will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business pending bankruptcy court approval of its plan of reorganization,” he said in the statement.
On its website, Eccotemp said its water heaters are sold at more than 2,000 retailers in North America, Europe and the Middle East.