West Virginia residents may be interested in a recent products liability case involving popular step ladders for the home. Cinmar, a company that produces step ladders, will be paying $3.1 million to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Reportedly, the company knew there were defects in some of their ladders. However, they failed to report the dangerous household product, which, by law, they are required to do immediately.
The ladders that are in question consist of two and three steps. They are made from mahogany wood. These ladders are primarily used in walk-in closets and may break without warning. This poses a fall hazard to all consumers using these ladders. The ladders were sold between Nov. 2005 and July 2010.
The CPSC reports that Cinmar knew of the defect in their ladders prior to the date of their report, which was July 29, 2010. They had already received over 1,200 ladders back due to cosmetic problems and breakage. In addition, they had been notified of at least 24 injuries. One of those injuries required hospitalization and another called for surgery. They did not recall these ladders until Jan. 20, 2011.
When a retailer, distributor or manufacturer becomes aware of a product defect, they are to report that defect immediately to the CPSC. Failing to do so can result in consumer safety hazards as well as in fines from the CPSC. For West Virginia residents who have been injured due to a dangerous household product, there may be legal recourse that can be taken in a civil court to obtain compensation for one’s injuries, pain and suffering and other related damages associated with the injury caused by a negligent company.
Source: Consumer Affairs, “Cinmar settles defective step ladders case“, James Limbach, June 11, 2014