A popular toy sold at dollar stores was a known choking hazard, but the manufacturer failed to do anything about it. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fined Henry Gordy International over $1 million. The New Jersey-based toymaker agreed to pay the fine, but it denies any product defect or that it violated any laws. The toy in question is a toy gun with tiny rubber darts that pose a choking hazard.
By May 2010, the darts caused three choking deaths. Henry Gordy did not issue a voluntary recall in light of the choking deaths. The CPSC says Henry Gordy knew back in May 2006 that the toy was defective and could cause a choking death. In addition, the CPSC alleged that Henry Gordy withheld information during the agency’s investigation in 2009. By federal law, a product manufacturer must report a product to the CPSC that may cause injury or death.
After the choking deaths, Family Dollar Stores voluntarily pulled the toy dart set from its shelves despite the lack of a recall. The toy sold for about $1.50 from September 2005 to January 2009.
In addition to the CPSC fine, do you think the toymaker should face additional charges for not reporting the choking hazard? Contact our office today.
Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP