Companies Ordered to Cease Operations for Importing Unsafe Children's Products

Companies Ordered to Cease Operations for Importing Unsafe Children's Products
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October 19, 2015

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has secured injunctions against two California companies accused of importing dangerous children's products.

The actions, filed at the request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), allege that the defendants were responsible for importing children's products containing, among other things, lead, phthalates and small parts posing a choking hazard for children under the age of three. The companies and defendant individuals have agreed to settle the lawsuits and be bound by a consent decree of permanent injunction.

"We have zero tolerance for companies and individuals who put children at risk," CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a written statement. "To protect our children from unsafe and dangerous toys, we'll continue to use all available enforcement tools at our disposal as well as continue to collaborate with our federal partners. Parents deserve no less when it comes to the safety of their children's toys."

The first injunction has been issued to Brightstar Group Inc., a Los Angeles importer and retailer of children's products and toys, and its owner, Sherry Chen. According to a complaint, the CPSC collected dozens of samples from Brightstar's import shipments as they attempted to enter the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., and from Brightstar's Los Angeles facility. Based on their findings, CPSC issued nine Letters of Advice between September 2013 and April 2015, notifying the Brightstar defendants that their products violated federal standards. Numerous products were found to be in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA).

A separate action was filed against Unik Toyz Trading Inc. a Los Angeles importer and retailer of children's products and toys, Unik's owner, Julie Tran, and the company's manager, Kiet Tran. The CPSC identified 39 samples of children's products imported by Unik, including toy cars, toy trains, bubble guns and art materials, that violate federal standards for children's toys. These violations include illegal levels of lead content and toys intended for children under the age of 3 that contained small parts and accessible batteries.

The defendants in both lawsuits agreed to settle the litigation and be bound by a consent decree of permanent injunction. All the defendants agreed to immediately cease all importation and sale of toys and children's products, unless and until the CPSC determines that the firm's practices have come into compliance with the law and with various remedial measures set out in the decrees.