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US Home & Garden, 2 Units Sued for Weed Trimmer Safety Issues

July 11, 2002|From Reuters

Federal safety regulators said Wednesday they've sued the manufacturer of a popular weed-trimming device, accusing the San Francisco-based company of withholding evidence that the items were dangerously flawed.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission seeks fines against US Home & Garden Inc. and two subsidiaries for failing to notify the government about safety problems with its Weed Wizard trimmer heads from 1987 to 2000.

The lawsuit says the company knew of at least 19 incidents in which the metal chain links on the trimmer heads flew off and hit people. In one case in 1997, the agency said, a 3-year-old girl was killed when one of the links hit her skull.

A spokesman for US Home & Garden declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Starting in February 1998, the agency said, US Home and its units "had enough information to reasonably support the conclusion that the Weed Wizard products were defective and could injure or kill consumers, though the companies never contacted CPSC."

US Home & Garden acquired Weed Wizard in 1998. The trimmers were recalled in May 2000.

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