Forman Mills to Pay $600,000 Penalty for Failure to Report Drawstrings in Outerwear

Forman Mills to Pay $600,000 Penalty for Failure to Report Drawstrings in Outerwear
Image: Pixabay
April 8, 2014

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Forman Mills Inc. has agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty.

The settlement resolves CPSC staff's charges that from June 2007 to February 2010, Forman Mills knowingly failed to report to the CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that the firm sold or held for sale to consumers about 2,100 children's upper outerwear garments with drawstrings. In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines, which were incorporated into a consensus industry voluntary standard in 1997, to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on hood, neck and waist drawstrings in upper garments, such as sweatshirts and jackets.

In May 2006, the Commission posted a letter on its website stating that staff considered children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck to be defective and present a substantial risk of injury to young children.

The four series of garments included in today's civil penalty were sold or held for sale between June 2007 and February 2010. The garments were recalled on January 6, 2009, February 18, 2010, April 8, 2010, and May 27, 2010.

In April 2009, the Commission issued an Order in which Forman Mills agreed to pay a civil penalty of $35,000 to settle staff's charges that the firm failed to report children's upper outerwear products with drawstrings that the firm had distributed in commerce.

Forman Mills distributed some garments in the current civil penalty matter during the same period as CPSC's investigation and negotiation of the April 2009 civil penalty. There have been no reported injuries associated with the recalled garments.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributers and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates any consumer product safety rule, or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC.