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Hawaii consumers might be using defective products

By law, manufacturers and companies in Hawaii and elsewhere are required to report a known product flaw within 24 hours when that product poses a hazard or risk to potential consumers. Defective products are the subject of a recent case that has resulted in Office Depot being issued a $3.4 million civil penalty. The products in question include two brands of office chairs that have reportedly been associated with multiple consumer injuries.

Both Quantum and Gibson office chairs have been reported as having design flaws that cause the back of the chair to give way when in use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission charged the Office Depot company with failure to lawfully report the defective products in a timely manner. Close to 40 injuries have been reported by consumers who claim that they were injured when the backs of the chairs failed. Nearly 200 calls were said to have been received, reporting the defective products, before a recall was issued.

The charges against Office Depot state that the company was aware that the chairs posed an unreasonable risk to consumers because of the flaws in the seat backs. The company has not admitted nor has it denied the safety commission's charges against it. Beyond the civil penalty the Office Depot has been ordered to pay, it must also show compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Any consumer in Hawaii who suffers injury or illness through normal usage of a purchased product has a right to consult a legal team if he or she wishes to consider filing a product liability claim in a civil court. Defective products can pose significant dangers to those who use them. Manufacturers, distributors and any company that places products with known defects into the hands of consumers can be held liable for any injuries or illnesses that result through use of those products.

Source: consumeraffairs.com, "Failure to report defective office chairs to cost Office Depot", James Limbach, May 28, 2015

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