Macy’s Fined $750,000 For Failing to Report it Sold Children’s Clothes That Posed Choke Hazard

mrnp1Wu.jpgThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that giant retailer Macy’s agreed to pay a $750,000 civil penalty for selling children’s outerwear with neck drawstrings, which pose strangulation risks, and some clothing that had been recalled, The Associated Press reports.

Many think of defective products for children typically as strollers, cribs, car seats, bedding and other products that get recalled because tots can get their fingers pinched or because they are manufactured improperly. Most consumers have few concerns about clothing, so it’s scary to think that clothes for kids can be a potential hazard. But our product liability lawyers in Washington D.C., New York and Miami are prepared to work on behalf consumers injured by any type of defective products.

Macy’s denied the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s assertion that it knowingly violated the law. The commission alleged that the retailer failed to immediately report it had sold children’s sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets with drawstrings at the neck between 2006 and 2010. The clothing was also sold at Macy’s-owned stores, including Robinsons-May and Bloomingdale’s. The products had been recalled but the store continued selling them, according to the government.

The commission received 28 reports of children who have died since 1985 when drawstrings became entangled with an object, The Associated Press reports.

Federal law requires manufactures, distributors and retailers to report to the CPSC within 24 hours of obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a potential hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule.

In 1996, the CPSC issued guidelines to prevent children from strangling or getting entangled in the neck and waist drawstrings of upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In 2006, the commission announced that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings would be regarded as defective and presented a substantial risk to young children.

To see a list of products that were recalled and still sold at Macy’s stores, click here. A press release provides links about the products as well as pictures.

According to Macy’s, the company had 2010 sales of $25 billion and includes 810 department stores and furniture galleries in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Bloomingdale’s has 41 stores.

It’s scary that retailers, especially one as large as Macy’s, would withhold information from consumers, especially when they pour $25 billion into the company each year. Consumers are injured and even killed each year from products that fail to work as they should. And our children, especially, should not be put at additional risk simply for wearing a certain style of clothing.

Our firm is dedicated to helping consumers who have been hurt by products they purchased with their hard-earned money. And consumers themselves can take action. The commission recently created Saferproducts.gov, which allows everyone access to information about the products they choose to purchase. Learn more about this tool at Product Liability Attorneys Blog.

The Ferraro Law Firm represents patients injured by recalled or defective products throughout the country. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

More Blog Entries:

Government Site Empowers Consumers Dealing with Defective Products: May 18, 2011

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