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Lawsuit claims FieldTurf is a defective product

An artificial playing surface known as FieldTurf was supposed to be a high performance, weather resistant and durable alternative to grass. The owners of many sports fields, in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, were lured into using the product by the manufacturer's claims that it was a long-lasting alternative to natural grass that required less upkeep. However, Tarkett, the parent company who manufactures the turf, is now facing multiple lawsuits alleging that the defective product has failed to perform as expected.

Many of the cases filed against the manufacturer claim the company promised a life expectancy of eight years, but that after about six, the artificial playing field began thinning, breaking and splitting. Purchasers claim, despite a warranty, the company is refusing to replace the playing fields, thereby violating the agreement. These complaints are further supported, the plaintiffs assert, by the fact that FieldTurf filed its own lawsuit in 2011 against the company that supplied the fibers used in manufacturing, claiming the supplier provided faulty fibers, thereby documenting that FieldTurf knew it was selling a defective product.

In addition, the turf may actually be wearing out to the point that it is hazardous for the athletes who play on the surface. A study found that ACL injuries occur more frequently in athletes who play on artificial surfaces like FieldTurf. Athletes who were injured due to playing on the artificial turf may have grounds for a product liability case. In the case of injury to a minor, a parent or guardian could file the claim.

Currently, the company is only facing litigation from customers – mainly school systems in California -- who allege that the company breached the warranty agreement. However, a personal injury lawsuit alleging that the company should be held responsible for injuries suffered by children playing on the deteriorating artificial surface could be forthcoming as well. Residents of Washington, D.C. who have been injured due to a defective product might benefit from contacting an attorney with experience in handling these types of legal claims. 

Source: sports.yahoo.com, "FieldTurf Makers Face Lawsuits for Defective Turf", Jacob Maslow, Dec. 22, 2016

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