The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has provisionally accepted a settlement with The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., requiring the company to pay $450,000 in civil penalties for allegedly failing to promptly notify the commission that its upper outerwear garments with drawstrings failed to comply with the commission’s Guidelines for Drawstrings on Children’s Upper Outwear, which recommend that “there be no hood and neck drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear sized 2T to12.”
The company agreed to the settlement without admitting liability, and CPSC requests that those opposed to it or otherwise wishing to comment file a written request by February 1, 2013.
According to the guidelines, which were incorporated into a voluntary standard adopted in 1997, manufacturers, importers and retailers of children’s upper outerwear should be aware of the hazards these items present and be sure that garments they sell conform to the standard. Apparently, CPSC reminded Bon-Ton in 2007 about the need to be compliant, and, in 2010, the company was identified as a retailer of potentially hazardous garments in press releases announcing three product recalls. According to CPSC’s allegations, Bon-Ton “had presumed and actual knowledge that garments [it] distributed posed a strangulation hazard and presented a substantial risk of injury to children under FHSA section 15(c)(1), 15 U.S.C. 1274(c) (1)… and knowingly failed to inform the Commission about the garments as required.” See Federal Register, January 17, 2013.