The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that it has reached a settlement with E&B Giftware LLC (E&B), of Yonkers, N.Y., resolving CPSC staff allegations that E&B failed to report a defect with its fitness balls. In settling this matter, E&B has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $550,000. The settlement agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.
CPSC staff alleged that E&B's subsidiary, EB Brands, LLC (EB Brands), knew of 25 incidents related to the defective balls as early as 2007, but failed to immediately inform the Commission as required by federal law. Some of these incidents led to consumers being injured. By October 2008, when EB Brands reported to the Commission, EB Brands knew of at least 44 incidents involving the fitness balls.
EB Brands sold three million of the fitness balls from May 2000 through February 2009. They were recalled in April 2009. At that time, there were 47 reports of the fitness balls unexpectedly bursting when overinflated by consumers, resulting in injuries, including a fracture and bruises.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors 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 fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.
In agreeing to the settlement, E&B denies CPSC staff allegations that it knowingly violated the law.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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