Last week, the Department of Justice filed an action against Michaels Stores on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”).  According to the complaint, between 2006 and 2010 Michaels sold glass vases which were prone to shattering in consumers’ hands and caused multiple injuries.

The complaint alleges that (1) despite receiving injury reports from consumers beginning in 2007, Michaels failed notify the CPSC of the hazard until 2010; and (2) Michaels sought to mislead the CPSC by implying that another company imported the vases, when in fact Michaels was the “importer of record.”  (Under the Consumer Product Safety Act an importer has the same reporting obligations as a manufacturer.)  The CPSC is seeking civil penalties and a permanent injunction to allow for compliance oversight of the retailer.

Click here to read the full article on this case and lessons it can provide for retailers.

Click here to view a three-part video series by Crowell & Moring partner Cheryl Falvey that reviews compliance programs and risk mitigation strategies for consumer products companies.