CVS to Pay Fine for Failing to Report Hazardous Product

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday in a news release that CVS Pharmacy, Inc. has agreed to pay a $45,000 civil penalty for failure to report drawstrings on an article of children’s clothing.

The penalty, which has been provisionally accepted by the CPSC, resolves the agency’s allegations that CVS knowingly failed to immediately report, as required by federal law, that from August 2008 to January 2009 the pharmacy chain sold children’s hooded jackets with drawstrings at the neck. Drawstrings on children’s upper outerwear pose strangulation and entanglement hazards that can lead to serious injury or death for children.

The jackets that are the subject of the penalty were recalled by the CPSC the importer of the jackets. The jackets were sold under the brand names Golden Grove and Young USA. In agreeing to the settlement, CVS denies the CPSC allegations that the retailer violated the law.

The CPSC issued guidelines regarding drawstrings on children’s upper outerwear to reduce the enganglement and strangling hazard in 1996. Ten years later in 2006, the CPSC’s Office of Compliance announced that children’s upper outerwear that had drawstrings on the hood or at the neck would be considered defective products that pose a considerable risk of harm to young children.

Federal law mandates that retailers, distributors, and manufactures report to the CPSC within 24 hours of obtaining information supporting that a product poses a hazard or does not comply with product safety rules.

Keeping children safe is of utmost importance. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage parents to stay abreast of developments in child safety and to be vigilant when purchasing products meant for children.