Blumenthal uses "office's horsepower" on tractor settlement

By John O'Brien | Jun 17, 2008


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Consumers would receive $300 refunds while the State of Connecticut would split a quarter-million dollars as a result of a settlement reached Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is still awaiting court approval on the settlement, reached by the State, MTD Products, Inc., and Briggs & Stratton Corp.

The State alleged MTD, a tractor maker, and engine maker Briggs & Stratton falsely labeled 16 horsepower engines as 18.5 horsepower.

"Harnessing my office's horsepower, we're compensating consumers for horsepower that these companies failed to provide," Blumenthal said.

"This court judgment provides restitution, money back to consumers swindled by these companies, as well as a significant forfeiture to the state. Accurate labeling is worth the fight."

The $250,000 paid to the State will be split among the state's General Fund and the consumer protection funds of the Department of Consumer Protection and the Attorney General.

The motors were allegedly installed in Yard Man tractors in 1996 and 1997 because of a shortage of 18.5 horsepower motors. Blumenthal says he has proof that 409 mislabeled motors were distributed in New England, with 3,498 being sold nationwide.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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