Just got this from my fiance...
You know, its a bummer that Zylon was bad, and I hope the company wasnt trying to cover that fact up - I dont think they were. Unless I am wrong on that, this looks like more ridiculous lawsuits pushed by fat cat lawyers and greedy families. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for their losses, but I honestly dont think I could take money in illegitimate lawsuit and be able to sleep at night. I just tihnk that people are once again, forgetting who pulled the trigger.
Facing lawsuits, bulletproof vest manufacturer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Eds: UPDATES with Minnesota also among states that have sued Second Chance.
CENTRAL LAKE, Mich. (AP) ? Second Chance Body Armor Inc. filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy after being hit with lawsuits in at least 10 states accusing it of
selling defective bulletproof vests to police officers.
One lawsuit blames the company in the shooting death of a California police
officer. Another, brought by the state of Utah, led to a $210,000 settlement.
The bankruptcy petition, filed Sunday, puts the lawsuits on hold while Second
Chance tries to work its way out of financial trouble.
?The filing will allow Second Chance management to focus on the management of
the business so as to continue to serve its law enforcement and military
customers,? chief executive Paul Banducci said.
The company announced in September 2003 that it had concerns about Zylon, the
synthetic fiber used in the vests. Since then, lawsuits have been filed,
federal and state investigations begun, and finger-pointing has ensued between
Second Chance and Zylon?s producer, Toyobo Co. of Japan.
Toyobo has acknowledged that tests show Zylon loses 10 percent to 20 percent of
its durability within two years of manufacture. But the company insisted the
fiber works well in body armor that is properly constructed.
Second Chance claims to have spared more than 935 wearers from death or serious
injury with is products.
Lawsuits have also been filed in Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia,
Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
Last year, the Fraternal Order of Police estimated 200,000 of the nation?s
700,000 police officers wear vests made with Zylon, which has also been used by
other body armor manufacturers in the United States and Canada.
Second Chance employs about 250 workers at its Central Lake factory and also has
operations in Alabama, Massachusetts, England, Germany and Morocco.
On the Net:
Second Chance Body Armor: http://www.secondchance.com
tough shit for second chance...
"Defective body armor" is right up there with "defective parachute" and "defective climbing rope" on the list of word combinations that should never, EVER happen.
That really sucks, I don't know if Second Chance screwed the pooch or is getting screwed by it.
What I do know is that Second Chance body armor has saved by their count more than 920 customers from death or serious injury, it was founded in 1972 and were pioneers in the field.
Having been to Rich Daviss place, his plant, his shooting match, and met the man he was a hell of a guy then. He's the guy who routinely shot himself with a 44magnum to demonstrate the vests.
I’ve always been a big fan of Second Chance and of Richard Davis (goofy as he can at times be) and I don’t think any of this was intentional.
Still, this was a MAJOR screwup that absolutely should not have happened!!
I suspect the lawsuits that are prompting this aren’t so much from injuries, but are from LE organizations that are justifiably claiming SC sold them a defective product.
SC has no one but itself to blame for this.
I could give you a three page dissertation on this, and the above is total bullshit. Jeez, what a "bummer" an Oceanside, CA police officer goes to work and is killed by two of the three 9mm bullets that penetrate his Second Chance Ultima Level II vest that ws rated to stop them. I know who pulled the trigger, and I don't blame SC for that. Just as I wouldn't blame them if he was shot in the head. But he wasn't. He was hit on his vest. A vest that when sold was supposed to be bullet resistent enough to stop what he ws hit with. Hope all you want that they weren't trying to cover it up. The fact is THEY WERE!. This is no "ridiculous" lawsuit. The FACT is that Second Chance manufactured, marketed and sold body armor that had a warranty. It is a FACT the warranty explicitly stated the SC will replace the vest if there are defects in the material, manufacture and normal wear of the vest.
The coverup began in 2001, when 2nd Chance was notified by Toyobo(the company that manufactures Zylon) that there was a problem. The "problem was that the material degraded quicker than originally thought. They knew this. There are documents supporting this. The "problem" reared its head when a deputy was shot in Alleghany County PA. A .40 cal round penetrated the vest that it shouldn't have. The bullet was unrecoverable due to the proximity to the officer's spine. SC denied any problem, said it was probably a hot round, pleaded it was a hit near the edge of the vest...bla blah blah. There were two more shootings with penetrations that shouldn't have occured. Second Chance repeatedly denied any culpability.
Bottom line. There IS a problem. A documented one, complete with proof and corporate level cover up.
As someone who was issued and wears to this day a SC Ultima II until I can afford to buy my own, I have a vested interest(no pun intended, but it was the best word to use).
Far cat lawyers? Greedy families? Try the line guy who wants a vest that works. Like me.
Are you aware of Second Chance's "fix?" They would have sent me extra panels to add to my vest to ensure proper function to the end of the five year warranty period. Or, they'd let me buy, for a reduced price a Monarch vest. I say again, to "honor" they're warranty I would have to BUY their vest! They'rer supposed to replace it per their warranty. But, hey sell something, put up a good front, say you'l stand behind it no matter what goes wrong, then when something goes wrong, don't. Cover it up. Plead "unfair hits" on your vests.
They're are going Chapter 11 to save their asses, not realign to make good on the thousands of vests they are obligated to replace.
Hit TacticalForums.com and go to MD Labs and read about all the SC bullshit. Follow the links to the documents where SC acknowledges the problem in 2001 and does NOTHING!
Visit the links below and see the real story.
Kent Washington tests:
Limbacher shooting, Pennsylvania
Toyobo Technical Data PDF
US Armor refuses to use Zylon:
Nov 20, 2002 Interview with Richard Davis, President of Second Chance:
(carefully read the parts in bold face)
Comprehensive discussion of Zylon and armor issues at MD Labs Forum at Tactical Forums.com
They need to pay for putting a defective product on the market that endangered thousands of lives.
What is greedy about that?
I'm surprised no one has blamed the guns yet in this case.
Very well said!
It's a shame to see this happen at Second Chance, whatever the truth may be. Every cop that wears a vest every day, or any cop that has been saved by ANY brand vest has him to thank. If he didn't have the faith in his product to travel the country shooting himself while wearing one of his vests LE agencies would still (and some still do) view "bulletproof" vests as a waste of money.
If they actively covered this up, they should face criminal charges.
Why? Because they knew it was a problem and they covered it up for monetary gain.
If it was an active cover up, then yes, I agree they should face criminal charges and be sued. So far I haven't seen anything that says that was the case - I've been trying to get those links to work, but for some reason they won't.
Sherm8404, your links go to the OLD tactical forums board setup. Using the IP won't work anymore....
I can link to the "executive summary": link
Thanks, I didn't realize they didn't work.