WASHINGTON, DC – Whalen Furniture Manufacturing, dba Bayside Furnishings, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $725,000 with regards to faulty children’s furniture.
The decision, announced Jan. 30 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), resolves “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.” At least one death resulted when a 20-pound lid on the toy chest of the LaJolla boat bed fell onto the head of 22-month-old, “entrapping his neck on the edge of the toy chest.” CPSC claims Whalen learned about the death in November 2007, but failed to report it until March 2008 after the agency contacted the company regarding the matter.
The other recalled model involved in the suit is Whalen’s Pirates of the Caribbean twin trundle bed. According to CPSC, the lid supports on the toy chests in both models “fail to prevent the lid from closing too quickly, posing an entrapment and strangulation hazard to young children.” Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours if a product contains a defect that could create a hazard, serious injury or death.
By agreeing to the settlement, the CPSC statement says, “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.”
Whalen sold the beds between January 2006 and May 2008 at Costco, furniture stores and online, for approximately $700 to $1,000. A recall of approximately 7,700 of the LaJolla boat beds and Pirates of the Caribbean beds was announced in July 2008.
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