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Cumberland tree stand maker settles lawsuit

A northwest Wisconsin company that makes tree stands for hunters will pay $420,000 to settle a federal lawsuit.

Ardisam Inc., Cumberland, was sued for about four times that much.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the settlement Thursday. The firm recalled 78,000 Big Foot and Lite Foot tree stands in 2004.

Before then, the government said Ardisam knew of at least nine cases in four years in which the stands unexpectedly broke and they never reported the mishaps to the commission as required by law.

At least five of those nine customers sued Ardisam.

Nancy Nord, the commission's acting chairwoman, said companies must immediately report product defects which affect safety.

Even with the settlement, Nord says the case sends a strong message.

Ardisam still denies that it broke the law.