In a recent press release, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Cybex International, Inc. has agreed to pay a $7.95 million civil penalty for the failure to report that two of its exercise machines were defective and created serious injury risks for users. Federal guidelines require manufacturers to immediately report any product defects and hazards to the CPSC. Even after the company received more than 110 reports of product failures and serious injuries, including permanent vision loss, spinal fracture, and paralysis, Cybex failed to notify the CPSC and continued to knowingly endanger consumers.
According to the CPSC’s charges, Cybex knew that its Arm Curl and Smith Press Machines were defective. The New York-based company received 85 reports that its Arm Curl Machines contained a defect that caused the handle to separate suddenly and strike users in the face. Numerous users sustained serious injuries from using the Arm Curl Machines, and at least one individual experienced permanent vision loss. The CPSC also charged that Cybex had information that its Smith Press Machines created unreasonable risks for users. The machine’s weight bar could fall, resulting in catastrophic impact dangers. The manufacturer received 27 reports of product failures and major injuries, including multiple reports of paralysis and spinal fracture. In both instances, Cybex failed to notify the CPSC immediately of any product risks and defects.
Cybex recalled the Arm Curl Machines in August 2015 and the Smith Press machines in August 2018. But according to the CPSC’s charges, the manufacturer first began receiving reports of product defects and failures in 2002. Instead of complying with federal law and prioritizing consumer health and safety, Cybex allowed its exercise products to remain on the national market and continued to make a profit as unsuspecting consumers were injured.
Not only does Cybex have to pay a $7.95 million civil penalty as part of its agreement with the CPSC, but going into the future the company must also maintain an enhanced compliance program to ensure that it meets all the guidelines that the Consumer Product Safety Act, or CPSA, mandates. The CPSA gives the CPSC the authority to create and uphold safety standards and pursue recalls for products that create substantial or unreasonable risks of injury or death to consumers. The CPSC is also requiring that Cybex maintain an internal procedure and control system to ensure that the company records, processes, and reports all product and consumer information in accordance with federal law.
The truth is, many of the injuries associated with using defective or unreasonably unsafe products are preventable – but not when manufacturers, suppliers, and sellers disregard their legal and moral obligations and opt to endanger consumers in order to make a profit. When a product like Cybex’s Arm Curl or Smith Press Machines cause an injury that results from the product’s design or defect, the victim can file a products liability lawsuit. An experienced products liability lawyer will represent an injured party’s interests, protect their rights, and advocate on their behalf. If you would like to learn more about filing a products liability claim, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
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