SunSetter Products LP (SunSetter), a limited partnership based in Malden, Massachusetts, that manufactures motorized, retractable awnings for outdoor use, has been accused of delaying reporting a hazardous defect involving protective vinyl covers for its retractable awnings. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, was jointly announced by the Justice Department and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to the complaint, SunSetter knowingly failed to immediately report to the CPSC that when bungee tie-downs securing its protective awning covers were removed, the retractable awnings could spring open unexpectedly with enough force to strike consumers and cause them to fall and suffer death or severe injury. The complaint alleges that between 2012 and 2017, SunSetter received 14 reports of its motorized awnings springing open, which resulted in several injuries and one death. Despite being aware of these incidents, the company did not report the problems with its awning covers to the CPSC until October 2017.
The protective covers at issue were sold separately or given away as a promotional item with the company’s motorized awnings between June 1999 and January 2019. The covers were recalled in August 2019. The Consumer Product Safety Act requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products to report immediately to the CPSC information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said, “Companies must report safety issues in consumer products immediately, as the law requires, to prevent unnecessary injury or death. The Department of Justice will continue to work closely with the CPSC to hold accountable manufacturers that put profits over the safety of consumers.”
U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts said that prompt reporting of potentially dangerous defects in or problems with products is vital to impactful and immediate consumer protection. CPSC cannot do its job without strict compliance by industry. The defect in this matter, as alleged, can cause serious injury up to and including death. Manufacturers must be held accountable for failing to comply with this important obligation which jeopardizes the safety of consumers.
Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric of the CPSC said, “SunSetter knew for years that its product was hazardous, yet failed to tell CPSC as required by federal law. It took a tragic death and numerous other injuries before they finally took action – which is unacceptable. When a company continues to sell dangerous products – knowing they can cause injuries and death – it must be held accountable.”
Senior Litigation Counsels Christina Parascandola and Claude Scott and Trial Attorney Nicole Frazer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Brizius for the District of Massachusetts, with the assistance of Harriet Kerwin and Renee H. McCune of the CPSC’s Office of the General Counsel are handling this matter. The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government would be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence. For additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit.
Why File a Product Liability Lawsuit?
A product liability lawsuit is filed to hold manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable for selling or distributing a defective product that caused injury or harm to the consumer. Product liability laws are in place to protect consumers from dangerous products and to ensure that companies prioritize consumer safety over profits. Filing a product liability lawsuit can help the injured party recover compensation for their
- medical expenses,
- lost wages,
- pain and suffering, and
- other damages resulting from the defective product.
Additionally, by filing a lawsuit, the injured party can bring attention to the dangerous product, potentially preventing others from being harmed in the same way.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
If you or a loved one suffered serious harm due to a defective SunSetter retractable awning, contact our national SunSetter Injury & Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lawyers today for a free case review. You could receive significant monetary compensation for your injuries or for the loss of a loved one caused by this recalled outdoor awning.
Time is limited, so don’t hesitate to contact our law firm. Call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to understand your rights and options. If qualified, our SunSetter Injury & Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lawyers will work hard to obtain the financial compensation you or your loved one deserves.
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