So…while contemplating the workings of flammable barbecues and commenting, yesterday, to the effect that it’s too bad propane grills aren’t built so the tank would be carried outside the unit rather than inside, underneath the burners, it occurred to me that maybe Weber actually makes such a contraption. Out of idle curiosity, I cruised on over to the Weber site.
No, Weber doesn’t seem to have hit on this peculiarly ingenious design. But what should we find, in fine print, at the bottom of the homepage but this link to a class action settlement.
Hot dang! Is it possible? Could it be that mine was not the first grill to flare up in the backyard? Dreams of dollar-shaped sugar-plums danced in my head!
Turns out some outfit sued Weber, claiming that because one of the company’s many lines is assembled in China, Weber broke the law by advertising its products as made in America. The fabulous wealth awarded to members of the class (which includes just about anyone who’s bought a Weber grill since 20-ought-seven) comes to $2, $5, or $9.
Hey. It’s enough for a MacDonald’s, eh?
It sounds like an extraordinarily stupid lawsuit, the sort of thing designed to enrich lawyers and greedy speculators (the plaintiff’s firm has asked for $995,500 in fees). And while it’s not nice to claim your products are made in America when one of them is made in China, whose workers take jobs from Americans and whose policies make it possible for American firms to sidestep safety, health care, and common decency, still… It rings of harassment.
Would you take $2 from this suit? $5? $9? What if the return were more substantial…say, the entire amount you paid for the grill? Here in Arizona, with its 9.3% sales tax, that would come to $436.11.
It’s the principle of the thing, you say…but what is the principle? Is it or is it not OK to lie to American consumers? Is it or is not OK to offshore our jobs and then sell us products at made-in-America prices?
Actually, two bucks would let me join the weekly pool at the Scottsdale Business Association twice in a row! A win will return $13.
Not a bad investment, as investments go.