Body Armor Manufacturer Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

OCTOBER 19, 2004 - Posted at 3:22 p.m. CDT

CENTRAL LAKE, MI - The body armor company that is the target of lawsuits by numerous states, including Arkansas, for allegedly selling defective vests has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Second Chance Body Armor Incorporated makes soft, concealable body armor for law enforcement.

The accusastions generated several lawsuits, as well as federal and state investigations, and finger-pointing between Second Chance and the producer Zylon, a high-tech synthetic fiber woven into many of Second Chance's vests.

Zylon's producer, Toyobo Company of Japan, has acknowledged that tests show Zylon loses 10 percent to 20 percent of its durability within two years of manufacture, but it insists it works well in body armor that is properly constructed.

Second Chance faced lawsuits since announcing more than a year ago that it had concerns about Zylon.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)