Gerber Legendary Blades, a division of Fiskars Brands, has agreed to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty for not immediately informing federal regulators of a safety defect in one of its products.
The company will pay the fine to settle a complaint filed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that charged the company knew its Gator Combo Axe posed a serious threat to users well before a recall was issued in 2011.
Fiskars began receiving reports of laceration injuries in 2005 that were sustained when the knife in the Gator Combo Axe handle dislodged as it was being used for chopping or hammering. Some of these injuries required surgery, said reports.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributers, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately after obtaining information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that creates a substantial safety hazard or risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with federal regulations.
Despite receiving consumer complaints, Fiskars did not inform the CPSC until 2011 when a recall was issued.
Along with the civil penalty, the company is required to implement and adhere to a compliance program that will prevent a similar situation from happening again.