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Combo Axe-Maker Pays $2.6M for Failing to Report Defect

Combo Axe-Maker Pays $2.6M for Failing to Report Defect

January 5, 2015 — Fiskars Brands, Inc. has agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle civil allegations that they failed to report a serious safety defect in the “Gator Combo Axe,” according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

As early as 2005 and continuing over the next few years, Fiskars received complaints and warranty claims from consumers indicating that the knife fell out of the axe handle when the axe was being used to chop, pound, or hammer.

The combo axe had a hollow handle that contained a 7-inch knife, which was held in place by two small magnets.

According to the Justice Department:

“In several instances, the knife dislodged from the handle during use and caused injuries including lacerations requiring stitches, permanent nerve damage and surgery to repair severed tendons.”

The Seattle Times reported that one man who had permanent wrist injuries due to a laceration filed a lawsuit in April 2009. Another consumer reported severe nerve damage after being injured by the axe in July 2010.

In March 2011, Fiskars recalled 103,000 of the axes and reported five injuries, all requiring stitches. They offered consumers a free handle cap to use during transport and storage.

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