Macy’s to Pay $750K Civil Fine for Selling Hazardous Children’s Clothing
Macy’s department store will pay a civil penalty of $750,000 for failing to report it had sold children’s clothing with drawstrings at the neck, including some garments that had been recalled. Children are at risk for strangulation when they wear such clothing, and its sale is banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
CPSC staff alleges that Macy’s knowingly sold some garments after a recall had been negotiated, which the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 made illegal. Macy’s denied allegations by CPSC that it had knowingly violated the law.
The commission alleged that the Cincinnati-based department store chain did not immediately report that 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 Bloomingdale’s and the now-defunct Robinsons-May stores.
CPSC issued drawstring guidelines in 1996 to help prevent children from strangling on or getting entangled in the neck and waist drawstrings of upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. And, in 2006, the commission’s Office of Compliance announced that these items of clothing with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be considered defective.
According to the CPSC:
Beginning in 2006, CPSC and the garments’ manufacturers and distributors announced recalls of the following children’s garments with drawstrings that were sold at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Robinsons-May:
• 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; and
• VF Contemporary Brands Inc. Splendid girls’ hooded jackets and vest sets
The commission has received reports of 28 children who died since 1985 when clothing with drawstrings became entangled with objects. CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or that involve a different hazard with the same product. They ask the public to relate their experiences with the products at www.SaferProducts.gov.
As Justin Fenner writes in Styleite,
Most of those products should have been taken off the racks after they CPSC started to crack down on them in 2006. Per Women’s Wear Daily:
‘Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to the CPSC within 24 hours after receiving information ‘reasonably supporting’ that a product could create a hazard, unreasonable risk of serious injury or death or fail to comply with a consumer product safety law, regulation or standard.’
Image by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, used under Fair Use: Reporting.