Even consumers who follow the news closely can’t be aware of every product recall that impacts them and their family. People often assume that when companies or the government recall products due to safety issues, they are immediately removed from shelves and online inventories. While that’s the way things should ideally work, it doesn’t always happen.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that three leading retailers owned by TJX Companies (T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls) continued to sell 19 separate products after they were recalled during the past five years. Some of the recalls were for serious safety issues, including flammability.
Most recently, the retailers continued to sell several models of inclined infant sleepers that have been linked to multiple deaths. Earlier this year, the CPSC warned that babies should not be placed in any sleeper that is at more than a 10-degree angle. Most inclined sleepers have had a 30-degree angle. The company also continued to sell a number of rocking sleepers that were recalled because babies were able to roll over onto their stomachs.
Among the other recalled products that the TJX retailers continued to sell in recent years include:
- Swagway battery-powered, self-balancing scooters/hoverboards that could overheat and burst into flames
- ION Audio portable speakers that can explode if gas leaks from them
- Ivanka Trump brand women’s scarves that don’t meet federal standards for flammability
- Three brands of chairs that can either break or tip over
- Several items that can break and cause injuries during normal use, including knives
- Two items designed for children that contain choking hazards
An official with TJX Companies responded to the report in a statement that said, “At TJX, product safety is very important to us. We deeply regret that in some instances, recalled products were not properly removed from our sales floors despite the recall processes that we had in place. We are taking appropriate steps to strengthen these processes moving forward. We apologize to our customers and encourage anyone who believes they may have one of these products to participate in the recall.”
When someone is injured or worse by a defective product, it may be appropriate to hold retailers and others in the distribution chain liable in addition to the manufacturer. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on how best to proceed.