On June 20, 2022, the Honorable Judge Kenneth Garrett, III of the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, granted final approval of a class action settlement in Michael Dinges v. Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. (Case No. 2116-CV-12037).
The Settlement Class unanimously approved the settlement. There were zero objections and zero opt outs. Over 60,000 class members will soon be receiving cash payments.
The settlement will provide cash payments to all consumers who purchased DEWALT, Porter Cable and Black & Decker brand organic bonded abrasive wheels in the United State between the period of June 7, 2015 – February 7, 2022.
In the lawsuit, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Black & Decker (aka, DeWalt) manufactures and sells abrasive wheels that are defective because they fail to inform consumers that the wheels expire. Unbeknownst to consumers, the wheels have a shelf-life. The organic compounds begin to breakdown over a period of time which make them susceptible to crack, break, and/or explode. This is highly
dangerous to consumers when the product is in use because the abrasive wheels are attached to chop saws and grinders which cause the wheels to spin at a very high velocity so that it can grind and cut through metal, steel, and other materials.
If the abrasive wheel is used after its expiration date, there is a substantial risk that the product could break and seriously injure the consumer and anyone within the vicinity of the power tool.
Black & Decker agreed to pay $850,000.00, inclusive of all cash payments, incentive payments, administrative expenses, costs, and attorney’s fees.
Class members who submitted a claim form will soon receive cash payments. The average payment for Tier 2 Class Members is $25.94. The average payment for Tier 1 Class Members is $6.64.
In addition to these cash payments, Black & Decker agreed to change its practices which has substantial value to the class and the public as it relates to health and safety. First, Black & Decker will include a clear expiration date on all future-manufactured abrasive wheels:
Second, Black & Decker will include a clear warning on all manuals which will inform consumers about the abrasive wheel’s expiration date.
Third, Black & Decker will modify its websites so that consumers will be educated about the abrasive wheel’s expiration date and warned not to use it after the expiration date. A dedicated website (www.bondedabrasivewheelsettlement.com) has been created so all class members can obtain information about the settlement. The interactive website will allow class members to access the Settlement Agreement, the Court’s Order Preliminarily Approving the Settlement, the Long-Form Notice, the Short-Form Notice, the Final Approval Order, and a timeline of important dates.
The Court has appointed Paul D. Anderson of Humphrey, Farrington, & McClain, P.C. to serve as counsel for the class. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him.
HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?
If you have been injured as result of an abrasive wheel breaking or exploding, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim. Feel free to contact attorney Paul D. Anderson to discuss your rights.
HFM is also currently pursuing similar class action litigation against other manufacturers (such as Milwaukee Tools, Makita Tools, Norton / Saint-Gobain, Diablo, Benchmark Abrasives, Metabo, Hart, and Gator) have created wheels that suffer from the same defect. If you have purchased one of these products, please contact us to discuss your rights.