Kidde Fire Extinguisher Maker Ordered to Pay $12 Million
Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2021
A federal judge ordered the maker of popular Kidde Fire Extinguishers to pay $12 million after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation claims that the company “buried consumer complaints” and hid defects that led to at least one death.
According to the consent decree, Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc., based in Mebane, N.C., failed to inform the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about problems with its portable extinguishers in a timely manner. The extinguishers, commonly used in homes and RVs, have failed to discharge and their nozzles have detached during emergencies.
In one case, firefighters were allegedly unable to discharge the extinguisher during a car fire, resulting in the death of the occupant. In another instance, a woman was severely burned while trying to extinguish a cooking fire. Hundreds of additional cases were reported prior to a massive product recall in 2017. A 2015 recall involved similar problems.
According to the DOJ complaint, Kidde not only failed to report the problems with nozzles detaching to the CPSC in a timely manner, they also minimized the claims they did report and continued to use a registered safety certification mark though they knew the products were not safe.
Because the claim was settled in a consent decree, Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc. was not required to admit guilt or liability.
“Companies must immediately report to the CPSC information about unreasonable risks and defects that create substantial hazards,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in a press release about the $12 million fine.
“The Department of Justice will continue to take appropriate enforcement actions against companies that jeopardize consumer safety by failing to comply with reporting requirements.”
At OnderLaw, we see corporations put profits over safety all too often. Sometimes those companies go to extreme measures to hide the dangers of their products. We stand up for those who are injured or killed due to corporate greed and hold these companies accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a dangerous product, contact the national product liability attorneys and personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw. Call 800-799-2824 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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