Michaels sued over shattering vases

Michaels sued over shattering vases
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have filed a joint lawsuit against the Texas-based craft store Michaels for allegedly failing to report that its glass vases were shattering in customers’ hands.

The compliant, filed in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, alleges that Michaels Stores Inc. and its subsidiary Michaels Store Procurement Co. Inc. failed to report to CPSC that glass vases were shattering when used, sometimes even when customers lifted the vases from the store shelves.

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The complaint alleges that the walls of the glass vases were too thin to withstand the “pressure of normal handling.”

Some of the customers sustained serious injuries, including lacerations that needed stitches, resulted in permanent nerve damage or required surgery to repair severed tendons, DOJ said.

In addition to failing to notify the CPSC “immediately” as required by law, DOJ alleges that Michaels gave the false impression in its report that it did not import the vases to avoid legal responsibility.

“We believe that Michaels chose to profit from selling defective vases that put people at risk, instead of following the law and immediately reporting that their vases were shattering and causing great harm to consumers,” CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a release. “To protect the public, companies are required to report potential product hazards and risks to CPSC on a timely basis. That means within 24 hours, not more than a year as in Michaels’ case.”

The vases were sold at Michaels stores between 2006 and 2010, when they were recalled. The complaint alleges that Michaels continued to sell the vases for more than two years after receiving reports was early as November 2007.

In a statement, Michaels Stores Inc. said it’s committed to providing quality products and that customer safety is “our top concern.”   

“We stand by our actions in this matter and believe that the facts will show that Michaels acted promptly and appropriately," the company said.