The Department of Justice and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that they are filing a joint complaint against Spectrum Brands, alleging that the company failed to report a hazardous defect with its coffee pots. The pots were part of the Black & Decker brand.
The Black & Decker SpaceMaker pots had handles that could suddenly detach, which resulted in burns to consumers. About 1,600 reports were filed by consumers about the handles detaching from early 2009 until April 2012 before the company finally notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the defect and agreed to recall the coffeemaker.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission believes that the company knew for years about the hazards posed by the coffee maker. The company is required to report potential hazards immediately, but did not do so. The lawsuit is seeking civil penalties and an injunction. The complaint also alleges that in addition to failing to notify the government immediately, the companies also continued to distribute the coffeemakers to retailers after the announcement of the recall. This is a violation of federal law.
Companies have a duty to their customers to manufacture products that are safe for ordinary use. If a company fails in its duty, it can be sued for damages. Unfortunately, many companies choose to run the risk of being sued for damages, rather than to issue a recall for products it knows are dangerous. If you have been injured by a dangerous consumer product, call the personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. You can also visit us on LinkedIn to learn more.