MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin-based manufacturer has agreed to pay the government $420,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging it failed to report immediately that hunters were seriously injured using its tree stands, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday.
The government had sued Ardisam Inc., of Cumberland, for $1.65 million in damages.
The company recalled 78,000 of its Big Foot and Lite Foot stands in July 2004. The stands were designed to be attached to trees, allowing for hunting from an elevated position.
Ardisam said in resolving the lawsuit that it still denied violating federal law or failing to report the injury information immediately to the CPSC as required.
The lawsuit alleged that the company had gotten reports starting in April 2000 of the stands unexpectedly becoming detached from trees, resulting in broken bones or other serious injuries to the hunters using them, but didn't report the information until May 2004.
Over that period, the company knew of at least nine incidents where tree stands unexpectedly detached, the lawsuit said. At least five of the nine consumers sued the company, according to the lawsuit.
The stands involved in the recall had been built between January 1998 and July 2001 and sold in stores and catalogs for between $60 and $120.