Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old July 17th 03, 04:08 PM
Richard J Kinch
 
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Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?

  #2   Report Post  
Old July 17th 03, 04:35 PM
Jeff Wisnia
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent ElectricDrill Accident)



Richard J Kinch wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99,


Those are down to less than $10 this week! Time to stock up on stocking
stuffers!

Jeff (Who confesses to being a loyal HF customer for his "hobby grade"
equipment.)
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"I before E except after C"....(The height of insufficient weird ancient
science...)




since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?





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Old July 17th 03, 08:04 PM
clare @ snyder.on .ca
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?



The common method is to make yourself "judgement proof". All profits
are expensed out to an "arms length" entity on a monthly basis so the
company has no assetts. All property and chattels are leased. No
insurance if they can get away with it. Can't get blood out of a
stone, so the lawyers take one look, say there is nothing there, and
move on.
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Old July 17th 03, 09:44 PM
Jim Stewart
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent ElectricDrill Accident)

clare wrote:

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:


The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?




The common method is to make yourself "judgement proof". All profits
are expensed out to an "arms length" entity on a monthly basis so the
company has no assetts. All property and chattels are leased. No
insurance if they can get away with it. Can't get blood out of a
stone, so the lawyers take one look, say there is nothing there, and
move on.


First, the usual 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer.

I doubt that this would work for Harbor Freight. First of all, they
have intangible assets such as their 'good name'. Secondly, if they
could not pay off a big judgment, the court might order them to be
sold at auction to satisfy the debt.



  #5   Report Post  
Old July 17th 03, 10:45 PM
donald girod
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability

Exactly why do you think these things are so dangerous??

Is it based on personal experience, or just the assumption that since it is
a shoddy piece of **** it will also hurt you? Exactly what, for instance,
is the angle grinder going to do to you? The wheel will fall apart due to
wheel defects, maybe, but what does that have to do with the grinder? If
you put a decent wheel on it, it's going to be fine. Maybe the gears with
disintegrate, but then you will be even safer since it won't be turning.


"Ian Stirling" wrote in message
...
In rec.crafts.metalworking Jeff Wisnia wrote:


Richard J Kinch wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering

about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The

local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how

shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts

somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh,

angle
grinders for $14.99,


Those are down to less than $10 this week! Time to stock up on stocking
stuffers!


I bet they could get another $3 off the price just by gluing the disk
on, and omitting the change key...


--
http://inquisitor.i.am/ | | Ian

Stirling.
---------------------------+-------------------------+--------------------

------
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornfull tone, "It

means
Just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." -- Lewis

Carrol



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Old July 17th 03, 11:05 PM
Keith Marshall
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

First, the usual 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer.

Same here. :-)

I doubt that this would work for Harbor Freight. First of all, they

have intangible assets such as their 'good name'. Secondly, if they
could not pay off a big judgment, the court might order them to be
sold at auction to satisfy the debt.

But I believe the liabilty would normally fall on the manufacturer rather
than the dealer and I don't think I've ever seen a "Harbor Freight" brand
tool. They have their house brands that they sell but they do not normally
have the Harbor Freight name on them. They're by brands such as Chicago
Electric, Pittsburg Tools, etc. which probably only exist in China.

Best Regards,
Keith Marshall


"The universe is full of magical things,
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
-Eden Phillpotts, A Shadow Passes, 1934
"Jim Stewart" wrote in message
...
clare wrote:

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:


The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering

about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts

somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?




The common method is to make yourself "judgement proof". All profits
are expensed out to an "arms length" entity on a monthly basis so the
company has no assetts. All property and chattels are leased. No
insurance if they can get away with it. Can't get blood out of a
stone, so the lawyers take one look, say there is nothing there, and
move on.


First, the usual 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer.

I doubt that this would work for Harbor Freight. First of all, they
have intangible assets such as their 'good name'. Secondly, if they
could not pay off a big judgment, the court might order them to be
sold at auction to satisfy the debt.





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Old July 17th 03, 11:36 PM
Spehro Pefhany
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 21:05:55 GMT, the renowned "Keith Marshall"
wrote:

But I believe the liabilty would normally fall on the manufacturer rather
than the dealer and I don't think I've ever seen a "Harbor Freight" brand
tool. They have their house brands that they sell but they do not normally
have the Harbor Freight name on them. They're by brands such as Chicago
Electric, Pittsburg Tools, etc. which probably only exist in China.


Those brands are owned by HF, and the Chinese (or Indian, or
Taiwanese) manufacturer "du jour" sticks that name on the product. If
the buyer wanted "Sears" or "Snap-On" stuck on there (and plausibly
seemed to own the trademark) they'd do that too. The Japanese used
that technique to get into the US market in the early days- putting
RCA or whatever on their stuff.

If there was a nasty lawsuit, all the parties would be named, the
importer and the retailer (which may or may not be separate legal
entities in the case of HF) would definitely be included.

My guess is that they have a hefty product liability insurance policy
and you'll be dealing with really sharp insurance company lawyers who
can stretch things out for many years if you try to make a claim for
whatever stupid thing you did to yourself.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
  #8   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 02:27 AM
Steven Bliss
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

Actually, I've returned more broken tools to Sears than I have to HF.....
"Richard J Kinch" wrote in message
...
The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?



  #9   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 03:27 AM
clare @ snyder.on .ca
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 12:44:35 -0700, Jim Stewart
wrote:

clare wrote:

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:


The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?




The common method is to make yourself "judgement proof". All profits
are expensed out to an "arms length" entity on a monthly basis so the
company has no assetts. All property and chattels are leased. No
insurance if they can get away with it. Can't get blood out of a
stone, so the lawyers take one look, say there is nothing there, and
move on.


First, the usual 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer.

I doubt that this would work for Harbor Freight. First of all, they
have intangible assets such as their 'good name'. Secondly, if they
could not pay off a big judgment, the court might order them to be
sold at auction to satisfy the debt.


And if there are no assets to sell????
That is the pivotal assumption. The sale of a corporation with no
assets cannot begin to pay damages. If the assets (merchandise) are
all owned off shore ( in China) and sold on consignment, there is
nothing to sell.

NOT saying HF plays this game, but there are many who do, world-wide.

  #10   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 03:29 AM
Carl Byrns
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability.


snip lame attempt to smear Harbor Freight
Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?


Has anyone sucessfully sued an out-of-business American tool company?

If I chop my hand off with my non-OSHA (no belt guard) 1954
King-Seeley table saw, who can I blame?

Do some research into why the US light aircraft industry collapsed
overnight. The Chinese had nothing to do with it- it was all American
lawyers.

-Carl


"The man who has nothing worth dying for has nothing worth living for"- Martin Luther King, Jr.


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