One hundred NJ police departments that bought defective bulletproof vests are about to receive a share of $173,780, stemming from a manufacturer who filed for bankruptcy a decade ago.
Many years before Second Chance Body Armor Inc. went out of business and declared bankruptcy, their Zylon-based vests were said to “have the potential to put police officers’ lives at risk,” according to NJ Acting Attorney General John J Hoffman.
The divisions of Law and Consumer Affairs obtained an order from U.S. Bankruptcy Court in August 2013 for the distribution of funds. They have recently received a payment and will begin distributing the funds. State authorities are determining the appropriate amount to dole out to each department.
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From 1999 through 2003, more than 260 NJ police departments purchased approximately 5,000 Second Chance Body Armor vests, primarily through a store in North Plainfield. It was later discovered that Zylon, a synthetic compound, deteriorates and fails over the course of time. In 2003, two of their vests failed, costing the life of a California police officer and a severe wound to a Pennsylvania cop.
This is an odd and horrifying example of consumer fraud. The idea of selling defective bulletproof vests to our law enforcement officers is awful and dangerous. They already put their lives at risk everyday for our protection, it’s a shame that Second Chance Body Armor elected to pay them back for their sacrifices in this way.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of consumer fraud, it can be potentially dangerous and the appropriate retailers and/or manufacturers need to be held accountable.
Contact the attorneys at Team Law today to discuss your case and set up a risk free consultation. Our lawyers have many years of experience defending the rights of consumers in New Jersey.