Last month, Macy’s agreed to pay a $750,000 fine imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) based on allegations that the retailer knowingly failed to immediately report to the CPSC, as required by federal law, that it had sold children’s sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets with drawstrings at the neck between 2006 and 2010. Drawstrings on children’s upper outerwear, such as sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets, have been shown to pose a risk of strangulation that can result in serious injury or death.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers, such as Macy’s and other department stores, to report to the CPSC within 24 hours of discovering information that reasonably supports a conclusion that the product contains a defect that could create a substantial hazard, that could create a unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or that fails to comply with an consumer product safety rule. The CPSC alleges that the sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets that are the subject of the fine were sold by Macy’s and other Macy’s affiliates, including Bloomingdale’s and Robinsons-May, after a recall had been issued, which violates the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
The CPSC had issued guidelines regarding drawstrings on children’s clothing in 1996 and cited children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings as defective and posing a substantial risk of injury to young children. In 2006, the CPSC, along with several manufacturers and distributors, recalled the following children’s clothing with drawstrings:
- Quiksilver Inc. Hide & Seek hooded sweatshirts
- Jerry Leigh of California Inc. Harajuku Lovers Hooded Jackets
- La Jolla Sport USA Inc. O’Neill children’s sweatshirts
- Dysfunctional Clothing LLC children’s hooded sweatshirts
- Macy’s Merchandising Group Inc. Epic Threads hooded sweatshirts and Greendog sweaters
- C-MRK Inc. Ocean Current boys’ hooded sweatshirts
- NTD Apparel Inc. Hello Kitty hooded sweatshirts
- S. Rothschild & Co Inc. girls’ coats
- VF Contemporary Brands Inc. Splendid girls’ hooded jackets and vest sets
Although Macy`s has agreed to the settlement, it continues to deny the allegations that it knowingly violated the law.
The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law is committed to protecting of consumers from dangerous and defective products, including unsafe children’s products. We regularly update our blog to include information on important children`s product recalls.
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