Note: ClassAction.org is no longer investigating these claims and is not accepting inquires regarding Werner attic ladders at this time.
Consumers who own a S2208 or S2210 Easy Access Attic Ladder manufactured by Werner Co. or a home containing this product may be entitled to compensation. Allegations have surfaced that these pull-down attic ladders can break under normal use and pose a risk of injury to the consumer. In light of claims that manufacturer and Lowe’s, its exclusive retailer, knowingly sold a defective and potentially dangerous product, those who own one of these attic ladders may be able to make a claim to recover the cost of their ladder, as well as any other damages.
Werner Co., the manufacturer and distributor of these ladders arose out of the bankruptcy of its predecessor the Old Ladder Co. According to allegations, Old Ladder knew that the S2208 and S2210 attic ladders contained defective hinges and were improperly designed, causing the ladder to break under normal use, according to allegations. It is believed that, to save money, Old Ladder designed and made hinges for these ladders using zinc aluminum, which consists of cheap, low melting point metals.
Allegedly, as a result of this cheap design, consumers began to experience Werner attic ladder problems with the product, as the zinc aluminum hinges were unstable and susceptible to shattering, shearing, bending and cracking. After its release into the marketplace, consumers began making Werner attic ladder complaints to Old Ladder and Lowe’s, claiming that the hinges had failed suddenly, and in some cases, caused injury to the user. It has been further alleged that in addition to the defective hinges, the attic ladders were defectively designed so much that even steel replacement hinges would not alleviate the failure risk. Allegedly, Old Ladder was aware of these Werner attic ladder problems and continued to sell these ladders to Lowe’s. After the company filed for bankruptcy, New Werner Co. purchased its assets and continued to manufacture and sell the ladders to Lowe’s in exchange for protection from all past and future losses associated with the product, according to allegations.
In early 2008, a former employee of the ladder manufacturer reached out to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to inform them of the allegedly dangerous nature of the attic ladders and their purported susceptibility to break at the hinges and injure the user. Upon contacting Werner Co., the company admitted that it had received a number of Werner attic ladder complaints, including 80 in one week, but the manufacturer falsely claimed to the CPSC that the design of the hinges was not the cause of the product’s failure, but rather consumers who exceeded the 300 pound weight limit or installed the product incorrectly, according to allegations. Shortly thereafter, the manufacture of the ladders in question was discontinued due to the large number of Werner attic ladder complaints, though 600,000 of these ladders had already been sold nationwide. Werner Co. allegedly failed to take any steps to warn consumers about its risks.