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Posted: 10/19/2004 11:58:39 AM EST
Just received a message from officer.com NewsDay that Second Chance has just filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11. The article specifically mentioned the company's liabilities for the Zylon vests, and the large number of lawsuits which have been filed by various states & agencies alleging that the company deliberately sold defective vests to the law enforcement.

Sounds like Second Chance has read the handwriting on the wall, & sees large judgements against the company coming down the pike shortly. Unfortunately, this is a pre-emptive measure designed to limit the company's liability, and keep them in business after a "reorganization". But at least this is a step toward forcing SC & the other manufacturers who deliberately sold defective armor to accept responsibility for their actions.
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 2:18:38 PM EST
I can't believe that a company whose products have saved thousands of Officers lives would risk it's reputation by intntionally selling defective vests. Someone convinced them that Zylon was as good or better than Kevlar.

I've never trusted anything other than genuine Kevlar. A local Officer was murdered a few years ago by a militia wacko with a CZ52. He was one of those nut jobs that carried one because of the 7.62X25's reputation for defeating body armor. Incidently, due to the point of impact, body armor was not a factor in this shooting. However, our local crime lab tested several 7.62X25 loads against level IIA Kevlar, Spectra and Zylon. Kevlar was the only material that consistently stopped every load including the hottest they could find which was Yugo surplus with a velocity of 1600 fps.
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 3:44:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
I can't believe that a company whose products have saved thousands of Officers lives would risk it's reputation by intntionally selling defective vests. Someone convinced them that Zylon was as good or better than Kevlar.

I've never trusted anything other than genuine Kevlar. A local Officer was murdered a few years ago by a militia wacko with a CZ52. He was one of those nut jobs that carried one because of the 7.62X25's reputation for defeating body armor. Incidently, due to the point of impact, body armor was not a factor in this shooting. However, our local crime lab tested several 7.62X25 loads against level IIA Kevlar, Spectra and Zylon. Kevlar was the only material that consistently stopped every load including the hottest they could find which was Yugo surplus with a velocity of 1600 fps.



I did not know this. Guess Kevlar is still the good stuff. This is good to know since I'm gonna start looking for a new vest to replace the God-awful uncomfortable one the dept issued.

I'm sorry to hear this about Second Chance. it's supposed to be good stuff. Hope they get this sorted out, SC was on the short-list of mfrs I was gonna buy from.

Bub
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 4:03:02 PM EST
intentional and willful disregard for the vest-wearers nonwithstanding, someone explain to me how the vest maker and not the armed criminal is responsible for someones death.

shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?

fucking a! lawsuits!
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 4:26:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By colinjay:
intentional and willful disregard for the vest-wearers nonwithstanding, someone explain to me how the vest maker and not the armed criminal is responsible for someones death.

shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?

fucking a! lawsuits!



I have to agree with you. Nothing is fullproof, including vests. Shit happens. Move the fuck on. (I know, easy for me to say....I haven't lost a buddy wearing a defective vest; no offence to those who have, if there is such a case).

At least they manned-up to it when confronted.
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 5:24:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mountaincop:

Originally Posted By colinjay:
intentional and willful disregard for the vest-wearers nonwithstanding, someone explain to me how the vest maker and not the armed criminal is responsible for someones death.

shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?

fucking a! lawsuits!



I have to agree with you. Nothing is fullproof, including vests. Shit happens. Move the fuck on. (I know, easy for me to say....I haven't lost a buddy wearing a defective vest; no offence to those who have, if there is such a case).

At least they manned-up to it when confronted.




From what I've seen & read, they manned-up to it when their internal documents showing that they were warned by the manufacturer of Zylon that it was degrading faster than advertised became public, and they could no longer deny that there was a problem.

Take a look at all the threads on Tactical Forums about the efforts of a few people (who had nothing to sell, and no possibility of financial gain) to bring this mess to light. I could excuse Second Chance & the other manufacturers for selling a product which didn't live up to it's reputation. What I can't excuse is the fact that they knowingly went on selling defective vests to officers whose lives were at stake. They only came clean after the internal memos were leaked, & they could no longer stonewall.

Just like Firestone denying their tires had problems, or Ford denying that the Pinto was a firetrap (or maybe the Crown Vic?), Second Chance put profits ahead of the safety of their customers. Anyone is free to buy what they will, but I'll never spend money with Second Chance again.
Link Posted: 10/19/2004 7:36:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mountaincop:
shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?



These things do not degrade very much, if at all with normal wear. We recently took a 12 year old, daily wear, Second Chance Kevlar level IIA to the range for a little fun. It stopped 180 Grn .40 S&W from 10 feet. The recommended replacement after 5 years is a product liability thing.

FWIW, when a manufacturer entices you to buy his vest by claiming his material is lighter, more flexible and just as strong as the other guys material, he bares some responsibility when he is proven wrong.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 6:58:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By NCCop:

Originally Posted By Mountaincop:

Originally Posted By colinjay:
intentional and willful disregard for the vest-wearers nonwithstanding, someone explain to me how the vest maker and not the armed criminal is responsible for someones death.

shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?

fucking a! lawsuits!



I have to agree with you. Nothing is fullproof, including vests. Shit happens. Move the fuck on. (I know, easy for me to say....I haven't lost a buddy wearing a defective vest; no offence to those who have, if there is such a case).

At least they manned-up to it when confronted.




From what I've seen & read, they manned-up to it when their internal documents showing that they were warned by the manufacturer of Zylon that it was degrading faster than advertised became public, and they could no longer deny that there was a problem.

Take a look at all the threads on Tactical Forums about the efforts of a few people (who had nothing to sell, and no possibility of financial gain) to bring this mess to light. I could excuse Second Chance & the other manufacturers for selling a product which didn't live up to it's reputation. What I can't excuse is the fact that they knowingly went on selling defective vests to officers whose lives were at stake. They only came clean after the internal memos were leaked, & they could no longer stonewall.

Just like Firestone denying their tires had problems, or Ford denying that the Pinto was a firetrap (or maybe the Crown Vic?), Second Chance put profits ahead of the safety of their customers. Anyone is free to buy what they will, but I'll never spend money with Second Chance again.



Well shit. I din't know they did a "what-us???" job. Nevermind......fuck 'em, let em hang
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:24:10 AM EST
"These things do not degrade very much, if at all with normal wear. We recently took a 12 year old, daily wear, Second Chance Kevlar level IIA to the range for a little fun. It stopped 180 Grn .40 S&W from 10 feet. The recommended replacement after 5 years is a product liability thing"

The degradation problem was with Zylon vests not Kevlar. There are tests that show that Zylon does degrade at a very rapid rate. Any one that wants to see the info needs to go over to Tacticalforums.com and look in the MDLabs section.

Jason
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:37:43 AM EST
I saw this on our local (Montgomery, AL) news last night at 10:00. They were covering the story because the Second Chance plant in south Alabama will also be shutting down...
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 11:17:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 11:22:02 AM EST by Master_Blaster]
The business executive strikes & everybody loses. Still waiting for the day when executives have to face the fire for pulling secretive cover up crap like this. Charges of negligent homicide should probably be in order here.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 11:36:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By colinjay:
intentional and willful disregard for the vest-wearers nonwithstanding, someone explain to me how the vest maker and not the armed criminal is responsible for someones death.

shit, if these thigs degraded after being exposed to heat, why shoudn't the weatherman or frickin' mother nature be responsible too?

fucking a! lawsuits!



Zylon reportedly degrades VERY fast, after being exposed to the moisture anf heat of being WORN.

Tyobo (?) the manufacturer, I may not have the name right, warned that Zylon degrades quickly, very soon after Zylon was released. Other armor companies either stayed away from Zylon completely, or used it in hybrid vests so the Zylon wasn't the only material, and could be an interior material, not directly exposed to heat-moisture of use.

Zylon was the neswest, lightest, most flexibile fiber. 2nd Chance used it, and sold it at a premium price, because it was the most "comfortable" material used to make vests.

In other words, they had information that the material was defective, and continued to sell vests made from that material. At least 2 officers have been killed, wearing failry new vest, by rounds the vest should have defeated, but failed to stop.

Vest are supposed to stop rated rounds, 100% of the time, for 5 years from purchase.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 11:43:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 11:47:03 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
In one document discovered by the Attorney General's Office: “Letter to the Executive Board by Richard C. Davis, Company President" dated July 29, 2002,” possible solutions to the problem were outlined for the Board to consider:

"Possible Solutions

Solution #1) We continue operating as though nothing is wrong until one of our customers is killed or wounded, or Germany , Japan , Dupont, or some other entity exposes the Zylon® problem.

Downfalls) Either a Law Enforcement Officer will be killed wearing one of our vests, or an involuntary exposure will lead to gross exaggeration. In either case, we will be forced to make excuses as to why we didn't recognize and correct the problem. In the eyes of law enforcement we will either be stupid for not knowing, or greedy and uncaring for knowing and not doing anything about it."

Goddard also noted that Armor Holdings established a new warranty program for the ABA Extreme ZX® and instituted an immediate warranty/exchange program. In addition, the Attorney General's Office has been notified of a potential settlement to the class action in Florida .

Arizona law enforcement personnel who use an ABA Xtreme ZX® will need to determine if they qualify to be a member of the class and can benefit from the settlement. The deadline for filing an exclusion and/or objection to the proposed settlement is September 20, 2004 .

Notice the date of the "do we wait until an officer dies" letter that Richard Davis authored.

Keep in mind that some eight months later, on March 14, 2003, Banducci released the following public statement:
"...Second Chance has tested and is continuing to monitor the performance of our vests in actual use. Second Chance has complete confidence in the performance of our armor and continues to stand behind our warranty of performance. Our armor, properly cared for, is safe and reliable."


On June 13, 2003, Officer Zepetella was shot and killed. The shot that killed him was shot that penetrated the Ultima II that he was wearing.

Eleven days later, on June 24, 2003, Officer Limbacher was shot and seriously (perhaps permenantly) injured. The bullet passed through his front vest panel, pierced his lung and his lower bowel before coming to rest next to the major artery near his kidneys.

For months after Zeppetella's and Limbacher's vest failures, SCBA would not admit that either of these vests failed and at times lied about them even being SCBA vests in the first place. For two+ years SBCA's test data (which was NEVER disclosed) was reported by them as “just fine” and then all of a sudden after the well documented and undisputable facts about Zeppetella's and Limbacher's vest failures were made public, Banducci made the following public statement in

November of 2003:
"Over the last 2 years Second Chance has retrieved from the field over 200 ULTIMA® vests from 37 different agencies in 19 different States. It is this testing over time, that yielded results that allowed our ballistics experts to be able to draw reliable conclusions regarding the expected performance of ZYLON® armor, in use, over time. Unfortunately, for all involved these results indicated the unexpected decrease in the ZYLON®fiber strength."
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 6:04:51 PM EST
Great, so what's gonna happen to the new vest I just returned to be altered since SC screwed up my order?

Brian
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 7:12:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
In one document discovered by the Attorney General's Office: “Letter to the Executive Board by Richard C. Davis, Company President" dated July 29, 2002,” possible solutions to the problem were outlined for the Board to consider:

"Possible Solutions

Solution #1) We continue operating as though nothing is wrong until one of our customers is killed or wounded, or Germany , Japan , Dupont, or some other entity exposes the Zylon® problem.

Downfalls) Either a Law Enforcement Officer will be killed wearing one of our vests, or an involuntary exposure will lead to gross exaggeration. In either case, we will be forced to make excuses as to why we didn't recognize and correct the problem. In the eyes of law enforcement we will either be stupid for not knowing, or greedy and uncaring for knowing and not doing anything about it."

Goddard also noted that Armor Holdings established a new warranty program for the ABA Extreme ZX® and instituted an immediate warranty/exchange program. In addition, the Attorney General's Office has been notified of a potential settlement to the class action in Florida .

Arizona law enforcement personnel who use an ABA Xtreme ZX® will need to determine if they qualify to be a member of the class and can benefit from the settlement. The deadline for filing an exclusion and/or objection to the proposed settlement is September 20, 2004 .

Notice the date of the "do we wait until an officer dies" letter that Richard Davis authored.

Keep in mind that some eight months later, on March 14, 2003, Banducci released the following public statement:
"...Second Chance has tested and is continuing to monitor the performance of our vests in actual use. Second Chance has complete confidence in the performance of our armor and continues to stand behind our warranty of performance. Our armor, properly cared for, is safe and reliable."


On June 13, 2003, Officer Zepetella was shot and killed. The shot that killed him was shot that penetrated the Ultima II that he was wearing.

Eleven days later, on June 24, 2003, Officer Limbacher was shot and seriously (perhaps permenantly) injured. The bullet passed through his front vest panel, pierced his lung and his lower bowel before coming to rest next to the major artery near his kidneys.

For months after Zeppetella's and Limbacher's vest failures, SCBA would not admit that either of these vests failed and at times lied about them even being SCBA vests in the first place. For two+ years SBCA's test data (which was NEVER disclosed) was reported by them as “just fine” and then all of a sudden after the well documented and undisputable facts about Zeppetella's and Limbacher's vest failures were made public, Banducci made the following public statement in

November of 2003:
"Over the last 2 years Second Chance has retrieved from the field over 200 ULTIMA® vests from 37 different agencies in 19 different States. It is this testing over time, that yielded results that allowed our ballistics experts to be able to draw reliable conclusions regarding the expected performance of ZYLON® armor, in use, over time. Unfortunately, for all involved these results indicated the unexpected decrease in the ZYLON®fiber strength."




I've been in law enforcement long enough to remember when Rich Davis was one of the most respected suppliers of law enforcement equipment. Officers trusted him & believed in his product in those days, because he traveled around the country doing demonstrations of his early vests by actually shooting himself while wearing the vest he was selling. It was hard to disbelieve a man who would literally take a bullet to show how well his product worked. Seems that somewhere along the trail he stopped being a man & became a weasel.....

Wonder if he'd like to volunteer to let one of us shoot him while he wears a used Zylon vest?
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