February 1, 2011

According to federal officials, a manufacturer recently received a $390,000 civil fine for failing to make the public aware of defective office chairs that led to serious injuries. Raynor Marketing Ltd., the distributor of the dangerous products, is located in West Hempstead, New York. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing the fines.

The CPSC accused Raynor Marketing of selling the dangerous chairs despite knowing that they were defective. In accordance with CPSC regulations and federal law, these types of product defects must be reported to the CPSC immediately. Over a dozen injuries resulted from the defective chairs, including bruises, bumps and more serious injuries. Twice as many incidents occurred that did not result in injuries.

Both the CPSC and Raynor Marketing announced that over 150,000 of the office chairs would be recalled in October of 2009. The primary defect with the office chairs was the likelihood for bolts attaching the back to the seat to loosen and detach without warning. The chairs were imported by Raynor Marketing between May of 2006 and March of 2009. According to the CPSC, these chairs were sold exclusively through Office Depot’s retail stores and online across the country.

While Raynor Marketing did agree to the $390,000 fine, the company denied CPSC allegations that they intentionally and knowingly violated federal laws regulating the reporting of product defects.

It is an unfortunate reality that defective and unsafe products make their way into the marketplace and into our workplaces and homes. If you have questions about an injury caused by an unsafe product, an experienced product liability attorney can advise you of your rights under the law.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Company agrees to $390,000 fine over unsafe chairs,” 1/28/2011

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