April 08, 2004
National Association of Police Organizations Files $77.5 Million and Lawsuit Over Faulty Bulletproof Vests
For Immediate Release
PRNewswire, FT. MEYERS, Fla. - Attorneys, Michael G. Crow, Michael H. Ellis, John W. "Don" Barrett, Patrick Geraghty, Tom Dougherty, William Johnson, Dewitt Lovelace and Michael J. Ryan on behalf of The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) and Lieutenant Scott Ashby of the Sanibel Police Department filed a national class action suit against Armor Holdings (NYSE: AH), Toyobo, America, Inc. and Toyobo Co., Ltd. (Toyobo Japan) for sale of defective body armor to more than 100,000 persons, agencies and entities all across the United States at an average price of $775 each. NAPO filed suit in Michigan State court against another manufacturer, Second Chance that utilizes Zylon® in their vests. It should be noted that Second Chance discontinued the sale of two of its vests, ULTIMA® and ULTIMAX® and has issued free "Performance Pacs" to its customers because as Second Chance's President stated "Unfortunately, for all involved these results indicated unexpected decrease in the Zylon® fiber strength."
The petition claims that the vests represented and warranted to have certain qualities and performance characteristics, which, in fact they do not have. "It's a travesty to have men and women who risk their lives everyday in an effort to make our lives safer, to have been misled and given a false sense of security by depending on a vest that is ineffective," said New Orleans attorney Michael G. Crow. The petition currently seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $77.5 million with Crow stating that "if counsels' suspicions are confirmed the complaint will be amended to seek punitive damages in the amount of treble compensatory damages."
About NAPO: NAPO (http://www.napo.org ) is a coalition of police unions and associations from across the United States that serves to advance the interests of America's law enforcement officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. Founded in 1978, NAPO is now the strongest unified voice supporting law enforcement officers in the United States. NAPO represents police unions and associations whose law enforcement officers are located across the country including: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas to name a few. NAPO also represents almost half of the sworn law enforcement officers in the country plus 11,000 retired officers and more than 100,000 citizens who share a common dedication to fair and effective crime control and law enforcement.
Additional information: The Special Report "Status Report to the Attorney General on Body Armor Safety Initiative Testing and Activities" dated March 11, 2004 can be downloaded at http://vests.ojp.gov.
About the lawyers: The law firm, Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Breslin, Murray and Recile LLP (http://www.chehardy.com ) is a law firm specializing in high- profile, complex litigation, as well as counseling clients in a wide array of legal areas.
Don Barrett is a nationally recognized plaintiffs' attorney who has taken national leadership roles in the Attorney General's tobacco litigation, in insurance fraud litigation, in automobile and tire products liability cases and in predatory lending cases. Most recently he was selected as plaintiffs' co-lead counsel in the Welding Rod MDL litigation pending in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio and in state courts around the country.
Geraghty and Dougherty is a trial firm located in Southwest Florida specializing in both State and Federal Civil litigation. The firm is currently involved in indoor air quality litigation against the Lee County School Board on behalf of both teachers and students. Within the past two years the firm has also resolved personal injury claims on behalf of clients for sums in excess of five million dollars.
William J. "Bill" Johnson in addition to General Counsel serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations, Inc. ("NAPO"). Johnson is a former police officer and prosecutor, having served with the Old Orchard Beach, Maine police department, and, after attending law school, the Miami, Florida State Attorney's Office.
Dewitt M. Lovelace is a nationally recognized plaintiff's attorney based in Destin, Florida. Mr. Lovelace has litigated cases against Bridgestone/Firestone in Ford Product liability litigation as well as cases against Bristol Myers Squibb for price fixing of baby formula.
Mike Ryan (http://www.krupnicklaw.com ) became an associate with Krupnick, Campbell, Malone, Roselli, Buser, Slama & Hancock. During his first two years with the firm, he has assisted in obtaining over $25 million in trial verdicts for his clients. He is actively involved as a member of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, The Association of Trial Lawyers and the Broward County Trial Lawyers' Association.
ZYLON® is a registered trademark of Toyobo
- Related Press Release: Armor Holdings, Inc. Reaffirms Product Integrity in Response to Reported Filing of Lawsuit