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Bon-Ton Pays $450,000 Penalty for Defective Products

What happened:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. of York, Pa., has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $450,000. The CPSC had accused the chain of failing to report that its children’s hooded jackets and sweatshirts were sold with drawstrings through the hood, as required by federal law.

All children’s outerwear, such as jackets, and sweatshirts, which have drawstrings, can pose a strangulation hazard to young children.  The CPSC issued three different recalls of children’s jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings through the hood, in February, March and May 2010. Each recall was issued jointly with three different U.S. importers. Bon-Ton was the retailer in approximately 800 articles of clothing which was recalled.


The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:

 The CPSC began alerting consumers to the drawstring dangers in the early nineties. The agency announced industry guidelines in 1996 and the industry incorporated those guidelines voluntarily in 1997. In 2006, the CPSC announced that children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and presenting a substantial risk of injury to young children.  In July 2011, the agency designated as substantial product hazards children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T to 12 with neck or hood drawstrings, and children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T to 16 with certain waist or bottom drawstrings.

The law mandates manufacturers, distributors, and retailers report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after determining that a product contains a defect that it could create a product hazard, 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. Federal law also prohibits the sale of any products that have been subject to a voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

As part of the settlement, Bon-Ton denies the allegation by the agency that the company knowingly violated the law. 

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. York, Pa.

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Helpful Info:

If your child has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured and marketed the device accountable by filing claims for compensation for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

You can learn more by reading through this online library of lawyers’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding recalled, poorly designed and unsafe consumer goods.

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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