Class Claims Magnets Open Combo Locks

     CHICAGO (CN) – Federal class actions in three states claim Kaba pushbutton combination locks can be opened with a magnet.
     Lead plaintiff Yosef Davis in Chicago sued Kaba and seven affiliates, including its Swiss corporate parent. Similar class actions were filed in Greenbelt, Md., and in Ohio.
     Kaba makes pushbutton combination locks that do not require keys, and “is the leader in the mechanical pushbutton lock segment of the access control market,” Davis said in his complaint. “Over a period of forty years, pushbutton locks have evolved to become the industry standard for ‘keyless entry’ in standalone locks.”
     The company advertises its locks as “‘durable,’ ‘reliable,’ ‘dependable,’ providing ‘security,’ being a ‘tried and true way to protect assets’ and providing ‘unparalleled strength,'” the complaint states.
     But Davis says, “The locks contain a serious design flaw. In particular, the locks can be opened by affixing a magnet to the outside of the locks, which manipulates the lock’s internal mechanism – the combination chamber – and allows the lock to be opened with ease and, most importantly, without inputting the necessary or correct combination.”
     Davis adds: “The size of the requisite magnet is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, thus allowing any petty criminal or other interested person easy access to any area whose access is supposed to be restricted by the locks.”
     Davis claims Kaba has been aware of the defect since 2010, but “took no action to inform suppliers or end-users of the locks, or of the risk of unwanted entry by use of a magnet, until being sued and having numerous related actions consolidated for pretrial purposes by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio.”
     Davis seeks class damages for breach of implied warranty.
     He is represented by Hunter Shkolnik, with Napoli, Bern, Ripka & Shkolnik in New York City, and by the firm’s local counsel Steven Aroesty, in Edwardsville, Ill.

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