The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that CVS Pharmacy, Inc., of Woonsocket, R.I., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $45,000. The settlement agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission unanimously (5-0).
The penalty resolves CPSC staff's allegations that CVS knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that it had sold children's hooded jackets with drawstrings at the neck from August 2008 to January 2009. Children's upper outerwear with drawstrings, including sweatshirts, sweaters, and jackets, poses strangulation and entanglement hazards to children that can result in serious injury or death. In March 2009, CPSC and the importer of the jackets announced a recall of the products, which were sold under the brand names Golden Grove and Young USA.
In 1996, CPSC issued drawstring guidelines (pdf) to help prevent children from strangling on or getting entangled in the neck and waist drawstrings of upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In 2006, CPSC's Office of Compliance announced that children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and presenting a substantial risk of injury to young children.
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, CVS denies CPSC staff's allegations that it knowingly violated the law.
Note: On June 29, 2011, the Commission approved a final rule that designates children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 12 with neck or hood drawstrings, and children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 16 with certain waist or bottom drawstrings, as substantial product hazards.
Golden Grove and Young USA children’s hooded jacket