"THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS AND DOCUMENTED UNSAFE LADDER, BUYER BEWARE"
“This web site is my personal story of devastating injuries and, based on the facts I have uncovered, the nature and effects of these companies’ irresponsible behavior and disregard for human safety in the interest of profit.”
"Commissioner Nancy Nord "CPSC" Followed through today with her Promise to investigate"
Russ Radtke (Menards Chief Merchant) (715) 876 2331 (Direct line) Mr. Radtke stated to me that it is not Menards responsibly to report any accidents or safety concerns related to any merchandise they sell to the CPSC. Maybe Mr. Radtke should educate himself and listen more than he talks and look at the following links regarding what the CPSC requires from Retailers and manufacturers. Why aren't John Menard Junior and Larry Menards protecting their consumers? Mr. Radtke informed me (9/05/07) that Menards is not interested in the CPSC rules. Here is a quote from Julie Vallese with the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regarding Mattel and other companies "It is when someone of decision-making status is made aware of a potential product hazard, they have the obligation to contact the commission within 24 hours," said CPSC spokesperson Julie Vallese. "Whether you're a big company or a little company, the same rules apply." Complete Story link: www.reuters.com/article/consumerproducts-SP/idUSN0442638820070904 Here is another link regarding Wal-Mart "On April 25, CPSC and DOJ announced that Wal-Mart had agreed to pay a $750,000 Civil Penalty for a "delay" in reporting the exercise equipment hazards." http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HIJ/is_4_8/ai_113681051
I have also talked with Nancy Nord Commissioner of the CPSC and she has assured me that she was personally going to direct this to the appropriate parties. "I'll keep you posted if Ms. Nord Follows through with her promises "Here is a link to her BIO: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/bios/nord.html
Menards, Home Depot and Lowe's: Commissioner Nord, follwed through with her word and and I will work directly with their CPSC Investigator regarding the desing flaw in questions. I will help validate through documentation Werner's, Lowe's, Home Depot and Menards hide in seek attitude and hopefull get this unsafe product off the market and the CPSC will hopefully file charges for not reporting an unsafe product.
Make a stance today at Menards, Sams Club, Home Depot and Lowe's !!! Look for yourself and then nicely ask a Manager for assistance and demand thier views on product safety and consumer protection. "When looking at the ladder foot, point out the flaw to a manager and ask why they continue to sell this product knowing it can cause a catastrophic injury and listen to their response. Yes they have been notified of this problem, but since Werner is a name brand company and the profits outway their customer safety.
Werner/Keller do produce and use a safer foot design shown below and still mass-produce and sell the unsafe design on Fiberglass Extension Ladders sold through Lowe's, Menards and Sam's Club. "I have never seen the safer foot design ever ( the one they represent in their U.S. Patent on the ladder label) on any fiberglass extension ladders, but only on the less expensive ALUMINUM EXTENSION LADDERS." Safer Alternative Design from the manufactuer and Failure to Warn consumers are just two areas that the CPSC and the Courts evaluate from both the manufactuer and retailer when serious product accidents occur)
"It is to the public interest to discourage the marketing of products having defects that are a menace to the public. If such products nevertheless find their way into the market it is to the public interest to place the responsibility for whatever injury they may cause upon the manufacturer, who, even if he is not negligent in the manufacture of the product, is responsible for its reaching the market."
"Since Judge Traynor's opinion in Escola demanded manufacturers be responsible for their products which pose a harm to the public welfare, courts have used the theory of product liability in order to ensure manufacturers do not escape liability." (1)
"Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers are required to report to CPSC under Section 15 (b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) within 24 hours of obtaining information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a product does not comply with a safety rule issued under the CPSA, or contains a defect which could create a substantial risk of injury to the public or presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b). The Recall Handbook will familiarize companies with their reporting requirements. The Commission's interpretive regulation Substantial Product Hazard Reports, 16 C.F.R. Part 1115 explains the company's obligations and the Commission's procedures."
I established this web-site because " I KNOW FOR A FACT" and believe that many others have been hurt by Werner's / Keller Ladders Shu-Lok foot design that is unsafe and have I video and pictures showing it fail. I just haven't had my day in court as of today. The pictures shown below illustrate this unsafe ladder foot design. Please understand that I am not an attorney or any legal entity, but a victim. I purchased my Werner ladder from Home Depot for our home. I want the manufacturer (Werner) to re-evaluate their product design and change it to a safer design as their patented design represents, describes and they currently produce for another ladder. I would expect retailers likes Sam's Club, Home Depot, Menards and Lowe's to make a stance for consumer safety and Immediately Cease selling and marketing of Werner and Keller Ladders until they correct this design flaw. Werner self insured itself up to one million dollars for product claims and does that make any sense for a company that was ready to go Bankrupt and they did???
The Werner Compnay including their Officers, LOWE'S, SAMS CLUB, MENARDS AND HOME DEPOT were fully aware of Werner's unsafe ladder design including the past, present and ongoing personal injury claims against both Werner and themselves regarding this design flaw; Even though Werner can't even pay their own bills much less claims. Lowe's, Menards, Sams Club and Home Depot allowed Werner, a financially unstable company to self insure itself in regards to Product Liability claims up to One Million dollars. That is a bunch of crap if they can't pay their bills they sure as hell won't pay a valid claim. Do you really need proof (chapter 11) In the real world not many claims see over a million dollars!!!
If you have a Fiberglass Wener ladder ladder I would say look at the foot design and and see for yourself. I am a married father with two children. My oldest just turned Five ad my youngest is three. Walking is very painful and the quality of my life has been drastically changed. All my recreational hobbies I enjoyed before, I can't do! Home Depot stopped selling Werner Ladders! WHY?
In short: For Werner to stay in business they sold or Eliminated substantially all of their unneeded (Problematic) assets and Personal injury claims. They moved production of their ladders to Mexico, laid off hard working Americans, sticking suppliers with unpaid invoices and the hell with pending personal injury cases...
On March of 2004 I was repairing the trim on my house when standing on the ladder about 16 feet above the ground when the ladder abruptly
dropped down about an inch starting a chain of events leading to my injuries. I see it as cause and effect. In my opinion the cause of the ladder
kicking out was directly related to the initial drop at the Shu-Lok base causing the Shu-Lok to become dislodged and unsafely repositioned.
The effect was how the ladder unsafely without my control attempted to reposition itself. It is important to consider all factors and not just one by it self
to fully understand my concerns that lead to my horrific injuries.
The first would relate to basic physics in regard to equilibrium. Think of it as balancing a pencil on your finger and how weight position is vital. In
my case the higher I climbed up the ladder the equilibrium changed and causes more force to be displaced against the structure of my home and
pressure is dispersed differently at the Shu-Lok base. I believe the ladders initial drop followed immediately by a unsafe repositioned Shu-base
configuration combined with my weight distribution caused enough downwards force resulting in a KICK-OUT motion. This initiated the ladder to slide
away from my house with myself on it. As a result this ladder design can fail causing a person like myself or others to fall and become seriously injured.
In my situation it resulted in at least a 16-foot fall upon my concrete driveway, breaking both wrist and shattering my left kneecap into at
east five pieces.
On the day of the injury I was using my Werner fiberglass extension ladder utilizing the Shu-Lok ladder feet base pictured at the bottom and on the
following page (Accident Scene). In my opinion the ladder malfunctioned. It is also my Opinion the Manufacturer the Werner Ladder Company
was informed and aware of potential hazards of the Shu-Lok base foot design and the groves that the bolt could and will catch on. The pictures at
the bottom of the page will demonstrate the groves and the catching point that could result in serious injuries or even death to an unsuspecting victim.
The CPSC is aware of this hazard of the Werner/Keller Shu-Lok base and my question remains the same. How many injuries or deaths does it take
before reform becomes a reality?
I rejected Werner's offer 3 times for their lack of product safety concerns.
Werner's Senior Counsel David Stankovich on numerous occasions in April, May and June told me he has never herd of
any incidents similar to mine regarding the ladders Shu-Lok system or its bolts catching in the Shu-Lok groves or any injuries
resulting from this design. I was the first! According to e-mails and U.S. government documentation I do believe he was full
of (@X@X@X) with his statement. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports to all manufactures regarding
complaints and injuries. I have documented complaints from the CPSC regarding inquires of the safety and merits of the product
The horrific issue at hand was why Werner's senior Counsel David Stankovich discounted the merits of my
accident even though the CPSC in 2003 reported to Werner regarding a Keller ladder with the Shu-Lok base
foot (For reference Werner owns Keller) a very similar accident as mine with similar problems including the
victims statement and pictures that could present questionable validity of the design in question.
We all know ladder safety and training is extremely important, but selling a accident waiting to happen
Question the retailers such as: Lowe's (336-658-4000), Grainger (847-535-1000)
Sam's Club (888-746-7726) and Menards (715-876-5911) and ask them their view on (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility. Profits are nice but not when consumer safety is at risk!
Home Depot stopped selling Werner Ladders!
HERE ARE TWO BRAND NEW 11/2004 WERNER LADDERS BOTH USING THE SHU-LOK FOOT SYSTEM PICTURED BELOW.