The Trial Lawyer Summer 2018 - Page 40

PRODUCTWATCH POLARIS UTV FIRE DEBACLE RAGES ON DESPITE RECORD-SETTING FINE By William C. Ourand, Esq. • Newsome Melton, PA This April, Polaris Industries, Inc. agreed to pay a $27.25 million fine to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — the highest fine ever paid in the agency’s history — to settle claims that it failed to file timely defect reports about an alleged fire risk posed by its Ranger and RZR recreational off-road vehicles. So far, the alleged defect has been associated with more than 250 fires, 30 serious injuries, and three deaths, and has spawned ongoing civil litigation. Sadly, it appears that the injuries, deaths, and lawsuits may only continue to mount in the months and years to come, as the company’s own statements suggest that it might not have identified all root causes and necessary fixes (should comprehensive and complete fixes even be possible). 38 x The Trial Lawyer