A federal court in California has approved consent decrees of permanent injunction against four toy and children’s product importers and six individual company officers following U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) charges that they knowingly imported hazardous children’s products, including those with excessive levels of phthalates, lead and lead paint or that posed choking or suffocation hazards due to small parts. United States v. Toys Distrib., Inc., No. 14-1364 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., decided June 10, 2014).
Under the agreement, the companies are enjoined from violating consumer product safety laws and will create product safety programs, conduct product audits, retain an accredited third party conformity assessment body, comply with third-party testing requirements, issue to CPSC on request certificates of conformity, and otherwise establish systems to conduct recalls and investigate consumer incidents, injuries or complaints. Any violations of material parts of the decree will require a liquidated damages payment of $1,000 for each day of non-compliance.
According to CPSC, the agency collected and tested dozens of samples of the companies’ products “as they attempted to enter the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach between 2008 and 2013” and issued repeated non-compliance notices. While one of the cases apparently culminated in a recall of toy cars with lead paint in January 2009, “[m]ost of the other products stopped at import were not distributed to consumers.” See CPSC News Release, June 13, 2014.