Color televisions were still a novelty in 1965. They were expensive, too. One bought in Maryland cost over $7,000 in today’s dollars, after adjusting for inflation. And they did not always work very well. That same TV started malfunctioning nearly immediately and was frequently serviced.
In December 1966, things went from bad to worse. The set started to smoke and emit sparks. But when you gotta watch your show, you just gotta watch your show, no matter what. So the owners kept watching TV, through smokes and sparks, one night and then another. Later, overnight, the set caught fire. And the house caught fire. And to add insult to injury, four years later, a Court of Appeals confirmed that the owners should get nothing. They should just have unplugged the darn thing when it started smoking.
The court didn’t buy that the plaintiffs just had to watch TV.