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Bon-Ton Pays $450K Penalty to CPSC

Fine involves selling of children's wear with drawstrings.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. of York, Pa., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $450,000 to resolve allegations that the firm knowingly failed to report to CPSC that its children’s hooded jackets and sweatshirts were sold with drawstrings through the hood.

Children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings, including jackets and sweatshirts, pose a strangulation hazard to children. CPSC and three U.S. importers revealed recalls of children’s jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings through the hood on Feb. 18, March 10 and May 27, 2010. Bon-Ton was a retailer of about 800 total jackets and sweatshirts in all three recalls.

In July 2011, CPSC issued a federal regulation that designated as substantial product hazards children’s upper outerwear with neck or hood drawstrings and certain waist or bottom drawstrings in sizes 2T to 12, or extra-small to large. Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect that 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. Federal law also bars selling products that have been subject to a voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the CPSC.

In agreeing to the settlement, Bon-Ton denies CPSC staff allegations that it knowingly violated the law.