Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

High Chair Maker Fined $3.5 Million Over Failure to Report Product Defect

When manufacturers discover a product defect, federal law requires them to immediately notify regulators. Phil & Teds USA recently agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty for failing to report a defect concerning its MeToo high chair to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The settlement also resolves charges that Phil & Teds knowingly made material misrepresentations to CPSC staff during an investigation of the high chair in 2011.

According to the CPSC, the defective high chairs pose an unreasonable risk of serious injury because the clamps can detach from the table and cause a child to fall to the ground. If only one side of the high chair detaches, a child’s fingers can become crushed between the bar and the clamping mechanism, resulting in amputation.

Despite receiving multiple reports of the high chair detaching and two subsequent design changes, Phil & Teds failed to immediately report the defect. When the company finally notified the CPSC in January 2011, it failed to disclose that the high chair posed an amputation hazard, and did not notify CPSC staff that the sample high chair provided for analysis had been redesigned. By the time the MeToo high chair was recalled in August 2011, Phil & Teds had sold more than 13,000 units nationwide.

As detailed by the CPSC, Phil & Teds has agreed to implement and maintain a compliance program that includes written standards, policies and procedures to verify that all information regarding the company’s compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, including reports and complaints, is conveyed to the company’s responsible employees.

If your child or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to a defective high chair or other children’s product, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.