Retailers Pay for Illegal Sale of Dangerous Products

As California personal injury lawyers, we deal with a wide variety of defective products and devices that have caused injury or death. Recently, we shared with our readers the FDA’s safety warning concerning surgical vaginal mesh, which is implanted in women to correct various medical problems, but has been shown to have serious adverse consequences in many patients. And we are involved in the recent recall of DePuy’s defective hip implants, representing clients who have been implanted with these devices.

Another major area of our injury law practice relates to dangerous or defective products that have harmed or killed children. Our law firm was at the forefront of the largest crib recall in the history of the country. We are always interested in safety improvements to all products, including those intended for children.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to approve a new safety rule for children’s outerwear. The final rule covers certain outwear and other clothing with drawstrings around the neck or waist. These have been found to have a serious risk of entanglement in playground equipment and car doors.

Twenty-six children have reportedly died after a drawstring became tangled on a playground or in a vehicle door. These incidents include dragging hazards as well as strangulation hazards.

The agency issued guidelines for a voluntary industry standard in the late 1990’s, and fatal accidents have declined. But unfortunately, there are still many non-compliant products on the market and the agency has recalled over 100 of these in the past four or five years.

In a related matter, the CPSC has settled with Macy’s Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio, which will pay a civil penalty of $750,000 for selling non-compliant drawstring clothing for children for a period of four years. Although Macy’s denies knowingly selling recalled products or failing to immediately report the sale of non-compliant products, they apparently are willing to pay a price to close the matter with the agency. The settlement includes sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets sold at either Macy’s stores, or stores owned by the company including Bloomingdales and Robinsons-May.

Retailers and distributors have specific reporting obligations under federal law to report information that supports “the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.”

This particular hazardous group of products is still of concern to the CPSC. They want to know about incidents or injuries involving these products on an ongoing basis.

The injury lawyers at San Francisco, California’s Hersh & Hersh, have represented victims harmed by defective medical devices and other products for over four decades. Please contact our law office for a free consultation regarding your situation with one of our trial attorneys.