T.J. Maxx parent agrees to $13 million civil penalty for selling recalled infant products

Sale of some 1,200 products from March 2014 through October 2019 included rocking sleepers and inclined sleepers recalled due to infant suffocations and deaths

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that retailer TJX Cos. has agreed to pay a $13 million civil penalty due to selling previously recalled inclined sleeper units and other related baby products.

According to the CPSC, the settlement agreement charges that the retailer, through its T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores and its online platform, knowingly sold or offered for sale some 1,200 products included in 21 separate voluntary corrective actions during a five-year period from March 2014 through October 2019.

While the products do not include residential furniture, the action warns other retailers about the implications of selling recalled products.

The CPSC said that Federal Law prohibits the sale or distribution in commerce of consumer products that are subject to a voluntary corrective action such as a recall, including items that have been part of a publicly announced recall that has occurred in cooperation with the CPSC.

The CPSC said that the majority of the post-recall sales were products that were recalled due to risk of infant suffocation and death. These included the Kids II Rocking Sleepers, Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers and Fisher-Price Inclined Sleeper Accessory for Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards. 

In addition to paying the $13 million civil penalty, TJX said it will maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls. This aims to ensure that the company complies with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), “including a program for the appropriate identification, quarantine, and disposal of recalled products.”

TJX also has agreed to maintain internal controls designed to ensure the company’s compliance with the CPSA, which requires TJX to “review claims, report safety concerns, implement corrective and preventive actions when compliance deficiencies or violations are identified, and establish senior management oversight of TJX’s compliance program.”

In addition, the company has agreed to file annual reports regarding the compliance program and system of internal controls for a period of five years. 

The CPSC Commission voted 4-0-1 to provisionally accept the TJX settlement. The CPSC said that the settlement does not “constitute an admission by TJX, or a determination by the Commission, that TJX knowingly violated the CPSA.”

Andrew Mastrangelo, assistant vice president of global communications at TJX, provided Home News Now the following statement regarding the settlement.

“At TJX, product safety is very important to us and we prohibit the sale of recalled items in our stores.  We deeply regret that in some instances between 2014 and 2019, recalled products were not properly removed from our sales floors despite the recall processes that we had in place. We have made a significant investment in people, processes, and technology to strengthen our processes, and have cooperated fully with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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