Michaels to pay $1.5M fine over shattering vases

Michaels to pay $1.5M fine over shattering vases
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The Texas-based craft store Michaels is agreeing to pay a $1.5 million fine to settle allegations it failed to make a timely report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that large glass vases it sold were shattering in customers’ hands.

The Department of Justice announced the settlement on Tuesday.

DOJ and the CPSC filed a joint lawsuit against Michaels Stores Inc. and its subsidiary Michaels Store Procurement Co. Inc. in 2015, which it later amended in 2017.

The suit alleged that Michaels had violated the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) by not reporting the safety issues with the vases until 2010, despite having information that the vases had injured one consumer in 2007 and at least four customers in the first half of 2009. 

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The walls of the glass vases were too thin, the complaint claimed, to withstand the “pressure of normal handling.” Some of the vases shattered even when customers lifted them from store shelves. 

As part of the settlement, Michaels has agreed to maintain a CPSA compliance program and to maintain internal controls and procedures designed to ensure timely, complete and accurate reporting to regulators. Under the settlement, though, the store is not admitting it violated the law.

“This settlement underscores the importance of reporting product safety issues immediately,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said in a statement.

“The Department of Justice will continue to prioritize consumer safety by enforcing product safety obligations.”