Dorel Plans Vigorous Appeal of U.S. Car Seat Judgment
Montreal, Quebec - 9/13/2013
Dorel Industries Inc., (TSX: DII.B; DII.A) today announced it is launching a vigorous appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court following a split jury verdict yesterday in the Hinds County, Mississippi Circuit Court which awarded US$26 million in damages as Dorel’s portion in the case. Dorel strongly disagrees with the jury award and is optimistic of a favorable outcome as the case continues to proceed through the legal system.
The trial related to a March 2008 accident in which a child travelling in a Dorel car seat was seriously injured when the vehicle the child was in was struck by a drunk driver in a horrific crash.
The Company stated it believes that yesterday’s verdict and judgment in the trial court stage of this case is erroneous, unjustified, and outrageous. It plans to present strong arguments which it expects will either overturn the judgment entirely or significantly reduce the liability assessed against the Company. Dorel stated that with its current insurance coverage the Company’s exposure should not exceed US$10 million, even if its efforts on appeal are unsuccessful. It will record the potential impact in the Company’s condensed consolidated interim third quarter financial statements. Dorel has a strong balance sheet and its financial position will not be materially affected by this case.
The Company reiterated that it takes pride in the safety of its juvenile products which are sold worldwide. Dorel spends millions annually in its product development and test centers to ensure that its products are of the highest quality.
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company’s lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel’s powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Be´be´ Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Caloi, IronHorse and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel’s Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of both domestically produced and imported furniture products, principally within North America. Dorel has annual sales of US$2.6 billion and employs 6,300 people in facilities located in twenty-four countries worldwide.
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, Dorel does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results could differ materially from Dorel’s expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements and that the objectives, plans, strategic priorities and business outlook may not be achieved. As a result, Dorel cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. Forward-looking statements are provided in this press release for the purpose of giving information about Management’s current expectations and plans and allowing investors and others to get a better understanding of Dorel’s operating environment. However, readers are cautioned that it may not be appropriate to use such forward- looking statements for any other purpose.
Forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on a number of assumptions that Dorel believed were reasonable on the day it made the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements include: general economic conditions; changes in product costs and supply channel; foreign currency fluctuations; customer and credit risk including the concentration of revenues with few customers; costs associated with product liability; changes in income tax legislation or the interpretation or application of those rules; the continued ability to develop products and support brand names; changes in the regulatory environment; continued access to capital resources and the related costs of borrowing; changes in assumptions in the valuation of goodwill and other intangible assets and subject to dividends being declared by the Board of Directors, there can be no certainty that Dorel’s Dividend Policy will be maintained. These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements are discussed in Dorel’s annual MD&A and Annual Information Form filed with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents are specifically incorporated herein by reference.
Dorel cautions readers that the risks described above are not the only ones that could impact it. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to Dorel or that Dorel currently deems to be immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward- looking statements as a prediction of actual results.
Except as otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any non-recurring or other unusual items or of any dispositions, mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. The financial impact of these transactions and non-recurring and other unusual items can be complex and depends on the facts particular to each of them. Dorel therefore cannot describe the expected impact in a meaningful way or in the same way Dorel presents known risks affecting the business.