FASHION LAW: COLUMBIA BAGS $3.3 MILLION FOR FAULTY HEATING TECHNOLOGY
Fibretronic, Hong Kong-based supplier of wearable technology, was found guilty of supplying defective components for electrically heated jackets to client Columbia Sportswear Co. The company was held liable for $3.3 million in damages paid directly to Columbia.
When Columbia first filed the action back in September of 2013 they sought $9.4 million in damages, a drastic difference from the $3.3 million awarded, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers can they?
The lawsuit outlines that the wiring required for such heat-tech clothing was improperly aligned in the wrist cuffs of each heated jacket, creating an electrical short and placing customers at risk. “The short created a hot spot that melted fabric in the jacket,” claims Columbia.
There have been no recorded reports of injury from this error but upon learning of the default, Columbia and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued product recalls for all jackets containing this particular wiring.
One court document filed in the case indicated Columbia ended with approximately 6,400 electrically heated jackets in inventory. The company disposed of all by 70 jackets, ten of each of the defective models, for future reference.