By imposing a $6 million civil penalty on Clawfoot Supply, LLC, the Commission underscores that companies should not view penalties for violating the law as a cost of doing business. Companies are on notice: report information on product hazards immediately or face stark financial consequences.
Clawfoot sold only 6,400 defective shower seats for $150 to $160 each. Not only did we ensure that Clawfoot offered full refunds to consumers, but today the company is paying a fine of 6-times the original sale amount ($937.50 per product sold). CPSC’s penalty has ensured that selling the hazardous seats was bad business for Clawfoot. I am confident that this Commission will continue to create strong disincentives for companies hiding vital safety information.
Here, Clawfoot’s corroded shower seats broke apart, injuring people, causing scrapes, bruises, deep lacerations, and fractured bones. Even after receiving multiple reports of corrosion and breakage, the company failed to report the issues. Instead of reporting to CPSC, Clawfoot conducted a shadow recall, offering a failed solution that continued to put people at serious risk of harm, all while keeping us in the dark and preventing us from taking action to protect consumers. Companies that hide safety information must face punishment.