The old Werner company’s S2208 and S2210 attic ladders were made from a very cheap metal (or monkey metal) that allows their hinges to break easily. The ladders are extremely dangerous and cannot be repaired. Attorney Malcolm Futhey III was involved in the 2012 class action lawsuit that resulted in compensation for owners with defective ladders. Although the time to seek reimbursement for a defective ladder has passed, individuals who are physically injured may still have a personal injury claim. Attorney Malcolm Futhey has navigated the old Werner company’s complex legal documents and understands the narrow avenue for asserting such a claim. If you have been injured by a defective S2208 or S2210 attic ladder, then contact Futhey Law Firm PLC for a free review of your potential claim. If you have no injury, the time to submit a claim based on the 2013 class action settlement has passed.
The S2208 and S2210 attic ladders have three sections. Each of the three sections is connected to the adjoining section by two hinges (one on each side). To save money, the old Werner company designed and made the hinges for these ladders from a zinc aluminum die cast. Zinc aluminum (also known as “pot metal,” “die-cast zinc” or “monkey metal”) is an alloy consisting of inexpensive, low melting point metals. No scientific metallurgical standard existed for pot metal, which was used by the old Werner company because it is inexpensive and can quickly and easily be cast without the need of a sophisticated foundry and specialized molds. As a result, the pot metal used to create the hinges for the S2208 and S2210 was unstable and prone to bending, cracking, shattering and shearing. The old Werner company represented to the public that these ladders would bear a 300 pound load capacity and were “OSHA certified.” The S2200 Series retailed between $200 to $300 dollars per ladder.
After its introduction of the S2200 Series, the old Werner company began to receive complaints from consumers, informing them that the hinges had sheared and failed suddenly and dangerously, and in several instances, caused personal injuries. The old Werner company investigated and learned of the inherent defect in the ladders that caused them to be dangerous to consumers, but nevertheless, continued to sell these ladders. In fact, the old Werner company learned that in addition to the defective hinges, the S2200 Series was defectively designed such that even steel replacement hinges would not cure the risk and substantial likelihood that these ladders would continue to shear suddenly and dangerously at the hinges during normal use and fail within their normal useful life. The ladders cannot be repaired.
The old Werner company knew that the S2208 and S2210 contained defective hinges made of inferior quality metal and were improperly designed, causing the ladder to break under normal consumer use. Despite their knowledge of the substantial risks posed by the S2208 and S2210 attic ladders, the old Werner company continued to manufacture these ladders, and amazingly, retailers continued to purchase and sell them to the unsuspecting public. All the while, as consumer complaints concerning both product failure and personal injury continued to mount, the old Werner company engaged in a campaign to conceal the risk that these ladders posed from the general public. When their own employees made anonymous complaints to the Consumer Products Safety Commission concerning the safety of these specific ladders, the old Werner downplayed the significance of the risks the defective ladders posed.
Ultimately, in 2008, the old Werner company ceased the manufacture of the S2208 and S2210 ladders. By this time, however, approximately 600,000 of these defective ladders were sold nationwide. Because of their inherent and dangerous defects, these ladders are substantially likely to fail before the end of their useful life. Further, these ladders are subject to failure in a sudden and dangerous manner in that the hinge will shear and break without warning while a person is on the ladder.
If you have been injured by a Werner S2208 or S2210 ladder, you may have a claim for damages. Contact Futhey Law Firm PLC to review and discuss your legal options