Ross Stores, Inc. Fails To Report Drawstrings In Children’s Garments, Agrees To Pay $3.9 Million Penalty

Ross Stores, Inc. has agreed to pay a $3.9 million civil penalty and implement internal compliance improvements for failing to report drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The settlement resolves CPSC charges that from January 2009 to February 2012, Ross knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that it sold or held for sale about 23,000 children’s upper outerwear garments with drawstrings at the neck or waist. In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines—which were incorporated into a consensus industry voluntary standard in 1997—to help prevent children from strangling or becoming entangled in neck and waist drawstrings on upper garments, such as sweatshirts and jackets.

In May 2006, the commission posted a letter on its website that stated staff considered children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck to be defective and to present a substantial risk of injury to young children. In July 2011, based on the 1996 CPSC guidelines and the 1997 voluntary standard, CPSC issued a final rule that designates the hazards presented by drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear as substantial product hazards.

In addition to paying a monetary penalty, Ross has agreed to implement and maintain a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements of Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Final Rule. Ross also agreed to enhance its existing compliance policies.

To read the full release regarding Ross Stores and the penalty, click here.

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