Manufacturers Can Face Civil Penalties for Not Reporting Defects to CPSC

Businesses have requirements when it comes to reporting dangerous or defective products. Failing to do so could result in civil penalties; such is the recent case with Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., of Chicago. 

The manufacturer paid a $400,000 penalty for knowingly failing to report to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a defect involving Kolcraft Travelin’ Tot play yards. They were sold nationwide between the years 2000 and 2009. 

The problem with the play yards was a faulty latch, which could cause the yard to collapse and present a fall hazard if a child were to push on it. The manufacturer received 350 reports, with 21 children suffering injuries. Most were minor but one child did sustain a concussion. 

Despite the company learning of the defect, it failed to immediately report the problem to CPSC. Manufacturers are given 24 hours to file a report once a defect is known or there is evidence to suggest the potential of a defect. 

Any business involved in not only manufacturing a product but in: 

  • selling;
  • importing; or
  • distributing is required to report known hazards (or potential hazards) to the CPSC. 

This means that when a defect has a significant chance of causing injury or death, CPSC must be notified. 

Statute of Limitations in a Defective Product Case 

There are time limits in which a defective product claim can be filed. This varies according to the state in which an injured person resides. Because laws are subject to change, it’s usually a good idea to speak with an attorney about the most recent. 

In some states injured persons have as little as one year to file a claim (Alabama), while in most states it’s between two and three years. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years. 

When someone has sustained serious injuries because of a dangerous or defective product, it could lead to compensation. At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, the attorneys may be able to assist victims of a defective product who are filing a claim.

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