Dorel Plans Vigorous Appeal of U.S. Car Seat Judgment
Montreal, Quebec - 6/20/2016
Dorel Industries Inc., (TSX: DII.B; DII.A) today announced it is launching a vigorous appeal to the trial court, and if necessary, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, following a jury verdict Friday, June 17th in Marshall, Texas which awarded approximately US$29 million in net 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 May, 2013 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 driver who crossed the center line and collided with the vehicle in a horrific crash. There was substantial evidence produced that the child had not been properly secured by the shoulder straps at the time of the crash.
“The seat in question has an excellent safety record and has been used without incident. We stand by this product which meets all government standards,” commented Dorel President and CEO, Martin Schwartz
The Company stated it believes the verdict and judgment in the trial court stage of this case is erroneous and unjustified. It will present strong arguments which it expects will either overturn the judgment entirely or significantly reduce the liability assessed against the Company.
Should the appeal be unsuccessful, Dorel stated that its current insurance coverage would limit the Company’s exposure to not more than US$6.0 million. It will record the potential impact in the Company’s condensed consolidated interim second quarter financial statements. Dorel has a strong balance sheet and its financial position will not be materially affected by this case.
“Dorel is the world’s largest car seat manufacturer and we take great pride in the excellent reputation for safety that we have earned globally. We design and produce juvenile products with one overriding objective-the safety of our children. Our hearts go out to the child and family involved in this most unfortunate accident. Dorel spends millions annually in its product development and test centers to ensure that our products are of the highest quality”, concluded Mr. Schwartz.