Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced Friday that owners of certain Gator Hawk Armor, Inc. ballistic vests may be eligible for benefits under a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit involves vests containing the material Zylon, including the Excel Level 2A, Excel Level 2 and Excel Level 3A vests. This latest settlement is different than the ones reached with Second Chance Body Armor, Paca, Point Blank and Galls brand vests.
"Hundreds of these vests were sold in Utah," says Shurtleff. "We want to make sure law enforcement officers and others are aware of the problems with these vests and get the information they need to replace them."
The proposed settlement would allow vest owners to receive replacement ballistic panels, carriers or vouchers to help purchase a replacement vest. Zylon vests became a concern after tests determined the vests did not stop a .44 caliber bullet and the material deteriorated under elevated temperature, humidity or light.
Information, claim forms, benefits and a list of the applicable vests can be found at http://www.gatorhawkarmor.com/zylonreplacement/ or by calling 1-888-697-3712. Additional information and necessary forms can be found on the Attorney General's website at http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/PrRel/prmarch302006.htm. These web sites provide important information for anyone who may be affected by this proposed settlement.
If you wish to participate and receive benefits, action must be taken by August 5, 2006. Early submissions are desirable. If you do not wish to participate and receive these benefits, you must submit a signed request for exclusion form no later than April 25, 2006. A copy of both forms are available at the web sites. Information from the class action attorneys on similar programs indicate that most people are participating and not opting out.
If you have questions, you can also call Lt. Craig Park at the attorney general's office at 801-281-1217 or Assistant Utah Attorney General Alan Bachman at 801-538-3240. The attorney general's office recommends that individuals should communicate with their employer to coordinate their submissions.