Record Civil Penalty Brought Against Graco Children’s Products; Recall Noted for 1.2 Million Toddler Beds

April 1, 2005

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a provisional settlement with one of the nation’s largest children’s product manufacturers for the largest civil penalty levied in CPSC history.

CPSC has provisionally imposed a $4 million penalty against Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Exton, Pa., for reportedly failing to inform the government in a timely manner about more than 12 million products that posed a danger to young children nationwide.

CPSC and Graco also are announcing the recall of about 1.2 million toddler beds, sold between February 1994 and March 2001, because a child’s arm or leg can become entrapped in the guard rails or footboard. The company’s failure to report the toddler beds is one of the violations leading to the penalty.

Graco, which acquired the Century brand name in 1998, is now owned by Newell Rubbermaid Inc. From 1991 through 2002, Graco and Century reportedly failed to report defects in juvenile products that the Commission said could create substantial product hazards or unreasonable risks of injury or death to young children.

According to the CPSC, the company failed to report hundreds of incidents and injuries involving 16 different products. The products, all used by young children, include infant carriers, high chairs, infant swings, strollers and toddler beds. The injuries range from contusions and fractures to strangulation (including some fatalities).

The CPSC and Graco are also finalizing corrective action plans for two additional products that were manufactured between 1994 and 2001 and are addressed by the penalty.

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