WASHINGTON, D.C. – Homeware and home furnishing producer and retailer Williams-Sonoma has agreed to pay a 987,500 civil penalty in accordance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for its failure to immediately report to the CPSC when consumers complained that a line of its wooden hammock stands deteriorated over time and broke.
The settlement stems from an Oct. 1, 2008 recall of approximately 30,000 wooden hammock stands by Pottery Barn, a division of Williams-Sonoma. According to CPSC, the recall came after 12 consumer report of injuries requiring medical attention for lacerations, bruising, neck and back pain and, in one case, fractured ribs. Pottery Barn also received about 50 reports of the wooden hammock stands breaking.
Under federal law, manufacturers, retailers and distributors must report to the CPSC within 24 hours of obtaining information that a product contains a defect that may cause an injury. Williams-Sonoma didn’t report the discrepancies until five years after the incidents began to occur, CPSC said.
Though the company agreed to pay the penalty and abide by CPSC laws from here on forth, they neither admit nor deny the harmfulness of their product.
In addition to paying the fine, Williams-Sonoma has also agreed to maintain and enforce a system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure that it promptly reports any future incidents involving products resulting in an accident:
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