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Irvine Furniture Firm Recalls Dining Chairs

Safety: Tropitone urges businesses to stop using its Marrakesh model due to reports the legs have cracked.

April 24, 2001|LESLIE EARNEST | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Irvine furniture manufacturer said Monday it is recalling about 30,600 Marrakesh dining chairs after it received reports that the front legs can crack.

Tropitone Furniture Co. said in a news release that the front legs of about 80 of the chairs, model 1324, broke in commercial settings. In six instances, users reportedly were injured when they fell from the chairs.

The chairs, which were sold from 1977 to March 1999, are used in restaurants and in homes, Chief Executive Mike Echolds said, but the company is not aware of any problems related to home use.

"In restaurants, they typically have much heavier use, and they're typically stacked and unstacked every day," he said. "The home environment is a much-lighter-duty use."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday it was not involved in the recall. A commission spokesman said there have been two previous recalls of Tropitone products, a chaise lounge and a swivel rocker.

In January, Tropitone was fined $750,000 by the agency for delays in reporting incidents involving the lounge chairs between June 1988 and March 1997.

"Tropitone reported to the [commission] nearly nine years after it first became aware of injuries from the chairs," commission spokesman Russ Rader said. The company also failed to report settlements of 30 lawsuits filed by consumers who allegedly were injured by the chairs, he said.

Echolds said Tropitone voluntarily recalled the lounge chairs in February 1992 after learning about the problem in late 1991. The company did not realize it was obligated to report the situation to the commission, Echolds said.

Regarding the latest recall, the company said commercial customers should stop using the chairs and call Tropitone at (800) 654-7000, Ext. 4099, for replacements.

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