Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay $750,000 Civil Penalty for Delay in Reporting Exercise Equipment Hazard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced today that Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $750,000. The penalty resolves a lawsuit filed in May 2001 by the Justice Department, on behalf of CPSC, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, in which the government charged Wal-Mart with failing to report safety hazards associated with home exercise equipment.
After an initial investigation by CPSC, the case against Wal-Mart was referred to the Civil Division of the Justice Department, led by Assistant Attorney General Robert D. McCallum, and then filed in court with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore, Md., led by United States Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio. Commission and Justice Department attorneys cooperated in the litigation and settlement of the case.
"This case demonstrates that retailers, like manufacturers, importers, and distributors, are required to report consumer product defects and injuries to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in a timely manner, and that there are penalties for those who fail to do so," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Prompt and timely reporting by companies will allow us to act swiftly to protect consumers from injuries."