Harbor Freight Tools is issuing a defective product recall for more than a million chainsaws because of a serious injury hazard. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the Southern California-based company states that a power switch in the saw can malfunction and allow the chainsaw to continue operating even after the operator moves the switch to “off” position, and this could pose a serious injury hazard to the operator.
Serious Injuries Reported
So far, the company has received 15 reports of chainsaws that still operated after the user switched them off resulting in three laceration injuries including one serious enough to require stitches, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said. Two models of 14-inch chainsaws sold under three different brand names are affected by this recall. The company says the recalled chainsaws are sold under the brand names Portland, One Stop Gardens and Chicago Electric chainsaws.
The defective chainsaws were sold at Harbor Freight stores across the country and online from May 2009 through February 2018 for about $50 each. Anyone who has these chainsaws at home is asked to stop using them right away and return the products to their local Harbor Freight Tools for a free replacement chainsaw. The replacement chainsaws will be available starting May 21.
Product Liability Issues
According to the CPSC, each year, approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws. The potential risk of injury increases after hurricanes and other natural disasters, when chain saws are widely used to remove fallen or partially fallen trees and tree branches. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches. Medical costs for chainsaw injuries based on these facts amount to about $350 million each year.
Workers’ compensation costs, based on the assumption that four weeks recovery is required, can be estimated at $125 million annually.
When a chainsaw injury is caused by a defective or malfunctioning product, the manufacturer can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disfigurement, disabilities and pain and suffering. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to help injured victims and their families explore their legal rights and options.