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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today a court ruling imposing a $300,000 civil penalty against a firm for not reporting a serious product hazard - the first time such a penalty ever has been awarded by a court for a company's failure to report. The ruling was made in a civil penalty action brought on CPSC's behalf by the Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation against Mirama Enterprises Inc., which does business as Aroma Housewares Co., in San Diego, Calif., a small importer and distributor of juice extractors (juicers) and other household appliances.

"Whenever a company fails to report its knowledge of a hazardous product to CPSC, it will pay a civil penalty that hurts," said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. "If the company refuses to settle, we'll get the penalty in court."

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