1997 Recall For Defective Space Master Attic Ladders
Although Werner has received consumer complaints regarding several of their products, they’ve only issued one recall. In 1997, the company recalled its line of Space Master Attic Ladders because of a manufacturing defect. On some units in this line, the hook that was meant to hold the latter in place was installed improperly. This defect would cause the ladder to fall from the ceiling without warning.
During the recall, about 400 ladders were removed from the market. Customers who had already purchased the ladder were offered instructions for inspection and repair, but no assistance if they’d already been injured by the product.
Steel Easy Access Ladder Never Recalled Despite Complaints
While Werner’s handling of the 1997 recall may have been the bare minimum, at least consumers were warned about the dangers of the Space Master Attic Ladders after the product had only been on the market for five months. Even though their Steel Easy Access Ladder was the subject of up to 80 complaints per week at one point, the defective product was never recalled.
Consumer complaints frequently mention that this ladder’s hinges are made out of cheap, poor quality metals which are vulnerable to cracks and bends. This product stayed on the market for five years between 2003-2008. Because a recall was never issued, homeowners who purchased one of these ladders several years ago are still at risk of a serious injury. Most people don’t consider that a product could be defective until they’ve already suffered an injury because of the defect.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Werner
In 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against Werner for their failure to properly respond to customer complaints about defective Steel Easy Access Attic Ladders. While Werner agreed to a settlement in the case, only one representative plaintiff received financial compensation. The rest of the claimants were only offered a free replacement ladder, with no financial assistance for medical bills, lost wages, or any other damages.
Consumers File Reports For Injuries Caused By Defective Werner Ladders
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting consumers from defective products which pose a potential risk of injury or death to those who use them. This regulatory agency also has a public database of consumer reports for injuries and accidents caused by these products. Since 2011, at least 100 consumers have filed complaints against Werner for accidents involving defective ladders:
- In January 2012, a 60-year old woman filed a report stating that while she was descending a Werner Steel Easy Access Attic Ladder (model S2210), the bottom hinges broke. She was on the top rung when the hinges broke, causing her to fall backward. She suffered a broken shoulder, bruises to her upper and lower body, and a concussion in the accident. The woman only weighed 125 pounds – far lighter than the model’s 300-pound limit.
- In January 2014, a 45-year-old man was climbing his garage attic ladder (Steel Easy Access Ladder model S2210) when a hinge snapped and the ladder broke. The man fell onto the garage floor and suffered injuries to his head, neck, back, and arms. The man’s wife was one of many to complain about Werner’s handling of defective products: “I am very upset that this ladder has not been recalled already, it could have prevented my husband’s injuries.“
- In March 2014, a 66-year old man filed a consumer complaint after his Werner 8-feet fiberglass step ladder collapsed while he was trimming a tree. The man fell over six feet to the ground and suffered severely bruised ribs and a shoulder injury in the accident. The ladder’s weight limit was 275 pounds, and the man only weighed 208 pounds at the time of the accident.
This is just a small sample of the dozens of complaints filed against Werner for hazardous and defective products. Note that even though the Steel Easy Access Ladder was discontinued in 2008, customers have still filed complaints after accidents involving the product as recently as 2015. Who knows how many homeowners are regularly risking serious injury or even death while using this product, completely unaware of the ladder’s widespread defects?
Werner’s Response To Customer Complaints
The company is notorious for denying responsibility after one of their customers suffers an injury due to a manufacturing defect, driving many consumers to file product liability lawsuits against the company. On the CPSC website, there are several complaints regarding the company’s failure to properly respond to consumer complaints:
- After his Steel Easy Access Attic Ladder broke while he was climbing it, a 47-year-old man from Indiana contacted Werner to file a complaint. The response was woefully inadequate, as the man wrote: “They refused to take responsibility for their defective product and would not provide me with a replacement. I plan on using social media to post info on this defective product and dishonest company. I may also contact a lawyer.”
- A man who suffered minor injuries after his Model S2210 Mk 2 attic ladder collapsed attempted to contact Werner twice through the contact form on their website and received no response.
- After narrowly avoiding injury when his Steel Easy Access Attic Ladder collapsed, an Oklahoma man wrote: “Critical ladder hinge is made from cheap pot metal and is a ticking time bomb for death or serious injury. This severe design and manufacturing defect justifies a mandatory recall. I have since learned that there was a class action settlement (claim deadline 1/21/2014), but no recall or notice. If there had been a recall then I would have known about this deadly defect and taken action before today.”
Filing A Lawsuit For A Defective Ladder Injury
If you’ve been dealing with similar frustrations after you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a Werner product, our product liability lawyers can help you learn more about your legal options in a free consultation. We’re proud to stand up to the powerful companies who fail to take responsibility when their customers are injured by their defective products.