A Sheepshead Bay attorney has filed a lawsuit on behalf of New York State court officers, claiming a company has put the officers’ lives in jeopardy by providing faulty body armor.
The New York Daily News is reporting that court officers are being left vulnerable because KDH Defense Systems, the company that manufactured the vests, failed to meet requested specifications.
The body armor vests, which cost $525-a-piece, were ordered for 148 officers, totaling $77,000. But the company refuses to exchange the vests or toss out the bill.
Attorney Bruce Baron, of Baron Associates P.C. (2509 Avenue U) explained to the Daily News what was wrong with the vests:
“On or about said date of October 3, 2012, the 148 vests were delivered, but the majority did not fit the officers properly,” the lawsuit charges.
“Moreover, without exception the flaps wherein the court officer’s mandated identification badge must be inserted were too small, owing to misplacement of the grommets that set the limits of these flaps,” wrote attorney Bruce Baron.Baron said the affected officers “are being put at risk by the inadequacies” of KDH and are “denied the right to protect the courthouses of this city, and themselves, in safety.”
“The standoff is having serious repercussions, in that the 148 officers are at risk for their safety because of a lack of these vests,” he added.
While the state has promised to eventually pay for body armor, the union representing the court officers are currently on the hook for the vests’ billing because they have refused to pay for the mistakes made by KDH, leading to the lawsuit.
Dennis Quirk, leader of the New York State Court Officers Association, summed up the union’s complaints to the Daily News.
“This company has provided an inferior product in both the manufacturing and the measuring, and has been non-responsive to our numerous requests for correcting the outstanding problems,” Quirk said.
Correction (9/9/2013): The original headline on this article incorrectly stated that this was NYPD body armor. It is not. The State Court Officers are not part of the NYPD. We regret the oversight.