Nationwide craft retailer Michaels Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations it failed to make a timely report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that large glass vases it sold shattered in customers’ hands.
The Department of Justice announced the settlement Tuesday.
In 2015, Michaels was sued by the Department of Justice and CPSC. The lawsuit alleged the retailer did not report safety issues with the vases until February 2010, despite being aware of one injury in 2007 and four more in 2009.
The glass vases’ walls were too thin, according to the lawsuit, and could not withstand the “pressure of normal handling.” Some vases even shattered when customers picked them up off of store shelves. Michaels sold roughly 200,000 of the cases in the United States and Canada between 2006 and 2010.
As part of the settlement, Michaels must maintain a Consumer Product Safety Act compliance program and maintain internal procedures and controls to ensure timely, complete and accurate reporting to the CPSC. Michaels is not admitting that it violated the law.
“This settlement underscores the importance of reporting product safety issues immediately,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to prioritize consumer safety by enforcing product safety obligations.”