Office Depot Fined $3.4 Million for Failing to Report Safety Defects

Office Depot Fined $3.4 Million for Failing to Report Safety Defects
Image: NCCC
May 28, 2015

Office Depot has agreed to pay a $3.4 million civil penalty to settle federal charges that it knowingly failed to report safety defects as required by law.

Office Depot has agreed to pay the fine and put in place a compliance program, but as part of the settlement the company doesn't admit or deny any wrongdoing.

The settlement is in response to charges by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that Office Depot knew two models of office chairs posed safety and injury hazards to users, but failed to report the findings to the agency within 24 hours as required by law.

According to the complaint, Office Depot received dozens of reports of seatback failures and related injuries involving the Quantum and Gibson chairs. By the time the Quantum and Gibson chairs were recalled, Office Depot had received more than 180 reports of the seatback detaching from the chairs and about 40 reports of injury.

Office Depot sold about 150,000 Quantum chairs nationwide between May 2006 and August 2009 for $350 each, and about 1.4 million Gibson chairs nationwide between 2003 and 2012, for about $40 each.

In addition to paying the $3.4 million civil penalty, Office Depot has agreed that the company has, and shall maintain, a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act and a related system of internal controls and procedures.