CVS has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $45,000, as a result of failing to report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) that it sold children’s hooded jackets with drawstrings at the neck. In March 2009, the CPSC and the importer of the jackets announced a recall of the products, but CVS just recently announced its agreement to pay the civil penalty.
Drawstrings at the neck in children’s clothing pose a risk of strangulation and create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. In 1996, the CPSC issued drawstring guidelines to prevent children from strangling on or getting entangled with neck and waist drawstrings. Ten years later, in 2006, the CPSC went a step further, and announced that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be automatically regarded as defective. Yet, CVS continued to sell jackets with drawstrings at the neck in violation of the CPSC’s guidelines for such products.