The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (Build-A-Bear), of St. Louis, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000. The penalty settlement agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.
The settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that Build-A-Bear failed to immediately report a defect involving its toy bear beach chair that resulted in incidents and injuries to consumers. The sharp edges of the chair’s folding wooden frame can pinch, lacerate or amputate a child’s fingertip if the finger is caught between the frame as the chair is folded.
Build-A-Bear sold the beach chairs through its website and at Build-A-Bear stores between March 2001 and October 2008. The company became aware of 10 reports of injury between July 2007 and January 2009, yet did not report to the Commission until March 2009.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect, which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.
CPSC and Build-A-Bear announced a recall of about 260,000 beach chairs in May 2009.
In agreeing to the settlement, Build-A-Bear denies CPSC staff allegations as to the existence of a defect or hazard or that it violated the law.