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Lifetime Products Inc. to Pay $800,000 Penalty for Failing to Report Hazard with Portable Basketball Hoops

Release Date: March 29, 2004

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today that Lifetime Products Inc., of Clearfield, Utah, has agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated federal reporting requirements associated with its portable basketball hoops.

Between 1994 and May 2000, Lifetime Products manufactured and distributed about 1.7 million portable basketball hoops nationwide. CPSC staff alleged that between March 1999 and July 2001, Lifetime Products learned of 23 reports of injuries that occurred when basketball players came in contact with a protruding bolt. One basketball player broke his leg, while other players received severe lacerations to their legs, requiring numerous stitches to close their wounds.

Although the company made changes to improve the safety of the hoops in May 2000, Lifetime never reported a possible product defect or injuries to consumers until the CPSC opened an investigation in July 2001.

In March 2002, Lifetime Products agreed to a recall of the basketball hoops because a sharp, protruding bolt on the players' side of the pole could cause serious leg or body lacerations. Sporting good, department and toy stores including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Toys R Us nationwide sold the recalled Lifetime basketball hoops.

According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a federal safety standard.

In agreeing to settle the matter, Lifetime Products Inc. denies that the portable basketball hoops were defective and that it violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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