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Company agrees to pay $1 million penalty for failure to report defective toy dart gun sets

By Rita R. Robison

Henry Gordy International Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1 million to settle allegations that the company knowingly failed to report the safety defect and hazard with the "Auto Fire Target Set" immediately to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as required by federal law.

Dart SetThe commission staff alleges that Henry Gordy knew on or about May 2006 that the target set was defective and could cause harm but failed to report this to the commission. The agency staff alleges that the target set is defective because if a child places the soft, pliable, plastic toy dart into his or her mouth, the toy can be inhaled into the throat and can prevent the child from breathing.

Henry Gordy also made a misrepresentation to the staff in an investigation into the target sets in May 2009 by not reporting all of the information the company was aware of, the commission alleged in a statement.

In May 2010, Family Dollar Stores Inc. and the commission announced the recall of about 1.8 million Auto Fire Target Sets because Henry Gordy refused to conduct the recall. By then, three deaths were associated with the target set.

Auto Fire Target Sets were sold only by Family Dollar Stores between September 2005 and January 2009 for about $1.50 each. Each set came with a toy gun; soft, pliable, plastic toy darts; and a small target.

In agreeing to the settlement, Henry Gordy denies the commission’s staff allegations as to the existence of a defect or that it knowingly violated the law.

Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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