WASHINGTON – The companies behind TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods have agreed to pay $13 million to settle charges that they sold products from 21 recalls, including those recalled because of the risk of infant death.
On Tuesday, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that TJX Companies, Inc. WXIN reports.
In total, TJX has sold, distributed, or offered approximately 1,200 units of the recalled products, the CSPC said.
For more than five years, TJX knowingly sold, offered for sale, and distributed dangerous recalled products through its website and retail stores. These sales are illegal and put dangerous products into the hands and homes of unsuspecting consumers. Hundreds of reclining sleepers that pose a suffocation risk for babies as well as a variety of other products that present choking hazards, laceration hazards and fire risks are being sold after their recall dates, in violation of federal law.
Alexander Hoehn-Saric, CSPC Chairman
The products are sold at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods locations, as well as online. Most of these items have been recalled “due to the risk of infant suffocation and death,” the CPSC said.
Other recalled products include a portable speaker model that cause an explosion hazard, hoverboards linked to 16 reports of burn injuries and the knife is broken and caused several lacerations requiring stitches.
TJX acknowledged the sale of these items in November 2019 in a joint news release with the CPSC. At that time, TJX said it has become aware of the sale of 19 different products which has been recalled between 2014 and 2019. The company later reported finding additional recalled products for sale during that period.
Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the CPSC, said the $13 million penalty was “close to the statutory maximum” that the CPSC agency would be able to seek in court. Still, Hoehn-Saric worries the fine won’t be enough to deter other companies from making similar mistakes.
“With the largest retailer’s market capitalization calculated in the billions, a penalty of $13 million or even $100 million could be a cost of doing business,” Hoehn-Saric wrote in a statement issued Tuesday. “To best protect the public, I urge Congress to eliminate or dramatically increase existing limits on the CPSC’s civil penalty authority.”
As part of the settlement, TJX will also maintain a compliance program to ensure the company follows proper protocols for recalled items, and file an annual report on the compliance program for the next five years.