Ross Stores Inc. of Pleasanton, California, must pay a $3.9 million fine in retribution for a failure to comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines regarding drawstrings in children’s garments. They did not notify the agency that they sold children’s outerwear clothing with drawstrings.
The guidelines state that drawstrings in the neck or hood of children’s outerwear pose a significant risk of injury by way of strangulation. Yet between January 2009 and February 2012, about 23,000 of these garments were available for sale by Ross Stores without any public notification of this fact.
The manufacturer had already paid a $500,000 civil penalty in 2009 for failing to report drawstring garments in four types of children’s outerwear. Yet the products continued to be sold even after settling that matter, leading to the $3.9 million penalty. The good news is that no injuries have been reported from these products.
Strangulation Risks Associated with Drawstrings
As of July 2011, any children’s upper outwear (such as jackets or hoodies) with drawstrings, in sizes 2T through 12 are considered hazardous products. This also applies to drawstrings at the bottom or waist area of outerwear, in sizes 2T through 16.
Drawstrings can become caught in car doors or other parts of vehicles and drag children thus causing significant injury. There have been 26 reported deaths where children were entangled in school bus doors, playground slides and other objects.
Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates if it’s believed a hazardous product has caused injury to your child. There may be safety rules in place that an attorney can use in your defense.