CPSC Dings Whalen for $750K
Whalen Furniture Manufacturing to Pay $750K Civil PenaltyJanuary 31, 2013
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that Whalen Furniture Mfg., d/b/a Bayside Furnishings, of San Diego, Calif., will pay a civil penalty of $725,000.
The settlement agreement resolves CPSC staff allegations that the firm knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, a defect involving two models of its boat-style children's beds with toy chests. The two models included LaJolla boat beds and Pirates of the Caribbean twin trundle beds. The beds include a toy chest with a 20-pound lid. The lid supports on the toy chests fail to prevent the lid from closing too quickly, posing an entrapment and strangulation hazard to young children.
Whalen sold the defective children's beds between January 2006 and May 2008.
In November 2007, Whalen learned that a 22-month-old boy from Roseville, Calif., had died after the lid of a LaJolla bed's toy chest fell on the back of his head, entrapping his neck on the edge of the toy chest. The firm failed to report the death or hazard with its bed to CPSC until March 2008, after being contacted by agency staff and directed to do so.
CPSC and Whalen announced a recall of about 7,700 LaJolla boat beds and Pirates of the Caribbean twin trundle beds in July 2008. The beds were sold at Costco stores, furniture stores and online at Costco.com for between $700 and $1,000.
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 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 any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
In agreeing to this settlement, Whalen denies staff's allegations including, but not limited to, that the recalled beds contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or created a serious risk of injury or death. In addition, Whalen denies staff's allegations that it failed to timely notify the Commission, in accordance with Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act.