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14 companies to pay civil penalties to the US Treasury
10
Apr '09
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that 14 firms have agreed to pay a total of $1,055,000 in civil penalties.

The penalties settle allegations that the firms knowingly failed to report to the CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that children's hooded sweatshirts or jackets they sold had drawstrings at the hood and/or neck. Children's upper outerwear with drawstrings, including sweatshirts or jackets, pose a strangulation hazard that can cause death to children.

The garments were eventually recalled as appropriate. The settlements have been provisionally accepted by the Commission.

CPSC has ordered the following firms to pay civil penalties to the U.S. Treasury:
• The TJX Companies Inc. d/b/a T.J. Maxx, of Framingham, Mass.
• Marshalls of MA Inc. of Framingham, Mass.
• Concord Buying Group Inc. d/b/a A.J. Wright, of Framingham, Mass.
• Bob's Stores Corp. of Meriden, Conn.
• Kidz World Inc. d/b/a High Energy USA, of New York City, N.Y.
• The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. of York, Pa.
• Coolibar Inc. of St. Louis Park, Minn.
• Brents-Riordan Co. LLC of Shreveport, La.
• Forman Mills Inc. of Pennsauken, N.J.
• Urgent Gear Inc. of Los Angeles, Calif.
• Seventy Two Inc. of La Puenta, Calif.
• Orioxi International Corp. of Brea, Calif.
• Outfitter Trading Co. LLC of Littleton, Colo.
• Retco Inc. of Breckenridge, Colo.

In February 1996, CPSC issued drawstring guidelines to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In May 2006, CPSC's Office of Compliance announced that children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and a substantial risk of injury to young children.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC.

In agreeing to settle the matters, the firms deny CPSC's allegations that they knowingly violated the law.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products -- such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals -- contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuriesassociated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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