Ross Stores Agrees to $3.9 Million Civil Penalty, Internal Compliance Improvements for Failure to Report Drawstrings in

    Ross Stores Agrees to $3.9 Million Civil Penalty, Internal Compliance
 Improvements for Failure to Report Drawstrings in Children's Upper Outerwear

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Ross Stores Inc., of Pleasanton,
Calif., has agreed to pay a $3.9 million civil penalty. The penalty agreement
has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 3-0 vote.


The settlement resolves CPSC staff's charges that from January 2009 to
February 2012, Ross knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as
required by federal law, that it sold or held for sale, about 23,000
children's upper outerwear garments with drawstrings at the neck or waist. In
February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines (which were incorporated into a
consensus industry voluntary standard in 1997) to help prevent children from
strangling or getting entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper
garments, such as sweatshirts and jackets. 

In May 2006, the Commission posted a letter on its website which stated that
staff considered children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or
neck to be defective and present a substantial risk of injury to young
children. In July 2011, based on the 1996 CPSC guidelines and the 1997
voluntary standard, CPSC issued a final rule which designates the hazards
presented by drawstrings in children's upper outerwear as substantial product

Ross's distribution of some children's garments occurred during the same
period of time as CPSC's investigation and negotiation of a 2009 civil
penalty. The $500,000 penalty that Ross paid in 2009 was to settle staff
charges that it failed to report four series of children's upper outerwear
drawstring garments distributed between 2006 and 2008. Ross's distribution of
the other garments in this matter occurred either partially or entirely after
the effective date of CPSC's Final Rule. There have been no reported injuries
associated with the recalled garments.

In addition to paying a monetary penalty, Ross has agreed to implement and
maintain a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the reporting
requirements of Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Final
Rule. Ross also agreed to enhance its existing compliance policies by
ensuring that its ongoing program contains written standards and policies, a
mechanism for confidential employee reporting of compliance-related questions
or concerns, and appropriate communication of company compliance policies to
all employees through training programs. Ross has designed and implemented a
system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that the firm's reporting
to the Commission is timely, truthful, complete, accurate, and in accordance
with applicable law. The company will also take steps to ensure that prompt
disclosure is made to management of any significant deficiencies or material
weaknesses in the design or operation of such internal controls.

The Commission, in cooperation with Ross and/or other firms that manufactured,
imported, or distributed the Garments, announced recalls of the garments
listed below between March 2010 and May 2012:

Manufacturer/Importer/Distributor/Retailer Product                     Link to
Children's Apparel Network, Ltd.           Girls' hooded sweater with  View
                                           neck drawstrings            Recall
                                           Girls' cargo pocket jacket  View
Byer California                            with neck and waist         Recall
Puma North America Inc.                    Youth training jacket with  View
                                           waist drawstrings           Recall
LA Fashion Hub Inc.                        Girls' winter jacket with   View
                                           neck drawstrings            Recall
Umbro                                      Boys' jacket with waist     View
                                           drawstrings                 Recall
Hot Chocolate                              Boys' jogging suit with     View
                                           waist drawstrings           Recall
Bonded Apparel                             Boys' Hooded jacket with    View
                                           neck drawstrings            Recall
                                           Girls' fur hood bubble
                                           fleece with waist           View
Me Jane Louise Paris Ltd                   drawstrings and Fur hooded  Recall
                                           bubble jacket with waist
                                           Girls' terry hooded         View
LANY Group LLC                             sweatshirt with neck        Recall
YMI Jeanswear                              Girls' hooded sweatshirt    View
                                           with neck drawstrings       Recall

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to
CPSC immediately (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.

In agreeing to the settlement, Ross denies staff charges that it knowingly
failed to inform the Commission about the garments, as required by CPSA

Statement by Chairman Inez Tenenbaum

Media Contact
Please use the phone numbers below for all media requests.
Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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