Black & Decker to Pay $960,000 Penalty for Faulty Trimmer

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In a news release Wednesday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday that Black & Decker has agreed to pay a $960,000 civil penalty for failure to report a defective trimmer/edger.

According to the release, the settlement, which as been provisionally accepted by the CPSC, resolves allegations by the agency that Black & Decker knowingly failed to immediately report safety defects and hazards associated with the Grasshog XP trimmer/edger as is required by federal law. The CPSC also claims that Black & Decker was not forthcoming when the agency requesting information during an investigation into the matter. In accepting the settlement, Black & Decker denies that it knowingly violated the law.

The CPSC alleges that on or before May 2006, Black & Decker was aware that the Grasshog XP GH1000, a high-powered, electrical gardening appliance, was defective and posed a risk of injury, but failed to notify the CPSC. The agency also claims that Black & Decker did not provide full information about Grasshog XP defects as requested in 2006. The case was closed based on the incomplete information provided at the time.  Black & Decker did not disclose the full extent of Grasshog XP defects or complaints until October 2006.

Black & Decker recalled approximately 200,000 Grasshog XP GH1000 trimmer/edgers in July 2007 after more than 700 complaints had been filed, including 58 reports of injuries. In August, the recall was re-announced amid 100 additional complaints. Consumers are urged to contact Black & Decker for a free repair kit.

As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I encourage anyone who has one of the recalled trimmer/edgers to arrange to receive the repair kit right away as multiple defects pose a serious risk of injury to users and bystanders.