Class action lawsuit is also known as collective action lawsuit which happens when one person files the lawsuit in a court of law on behalf of other individuals. Class action lawsuits occur when a group or people are suing together for some common cause. This suit can either be initiated in state court or federal court. A class action lawsuit can be initiated on behalf of all consumers nationwide who bought defective Harbor Freight ladders or any other similar products with group numbers 56001, 60000 or 620000. The lawsuit follows an identical pattern as the Class Action lawsuit filed against Harbor Freight Company.
In both cases, the complaint states that they bought high quality, manufacturer-authorized Harbor Freight ladders from the company’s site in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania without understanding that the ladders were substandard. After three years of owning the ladders, the homeowners realized that the ladders were unsafe and they bought them from another manufacturer. In this case, the original manufacturer is Harbor Freight Tools Inc., thus allowing the group to sue the company as a unit, or in a third person capacity (the consumer). While Harbor Freight Tools Inc. is primarily focused upon high quality tool manufacturers, they do produce low end tools and distribute the majority of their product to independent distributors. Thus, many of the plaintiffs in these lawsuits have no way of proving direct personal injury, but merely a defective product which was installed improperly.
Most of the products defective have a manufacturing defect, meaning that the items were made defective in some way. In most cases, the defect is in the design of the product, but Harbor Freight Tools Inc. also takes design risks. Some of the ladders were sold with inadequate material specification and only included high quality parts. As a result, many of the plaintiffs in these cases have difficulty determining whether or not the ladders were sold with an adequate warranty period or not. Many products have an “excluded inclusions” clause which does not include the warranty period or support, but instead requires that the consumer purchase a product that came with a Harbor Freight Tools distributor’s warranty.
Another way that defective products are sold is through Harbor Freight Tools distributors. The distributors typically install the products at the customer’s site, meaning that if there are manufacturing defects the customer cannot return the goods to the distributor, who then ships the goods to the customer. In addition, if there are manufacturing defects, the distributor often locks the defects so that the consumer cannot return the goods. This is the crux of the problem; while the manufacturer may have provided a high quality product at an acceptable price, Harbor Freight Tools Inc. has provided a warehouse where it can sell the goods at whatever price they desire, without regard for what the state laws say. Essentially, Harbor Freight Tools Inc. is a middleman, and it is only when the plaintiff receives its money that it starts addressing the defect.
A class action lawsuit is another way that defective products are sold in this case. If more than one class action lawsuit has been filed against Harbor Freight Tools Inc., then all of the plaintiffs must agree to settle their claims through a class action suit. In most instances, the class is comprised of all of the consumers that have suffered direct injury as a result of Harbor Freight Tools Inc.’s negligence. Because of the high cost of defending a class action suit against a company, most plaintiffs do not opt to initiate such a lawsuit.
The other way in which a lawsuit can be brought against Harbor Freight Tools Inc. is through a wrongful death lawsuit. Under this classification, the plaintiff’s family members can file a claim for damages against the company for failing to warn the public about the dangers of using high quality tools. The damages awarded in such lawsuits are usually very substantial, especially if the case is brought before a jury. However, because most class action lawsuits do not result in monetary damages, class action lawsuits usually involve a settlement in which the defendant relieves itself from responsibility by paying a large settlement and agreeing to keep a high quality product on the market.