Despite Decades of Warnings About Drawstrings Dangers Remain


February 22, 2012

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Administration (CPSA) has imposed a $750,000 civil fine on Macy’s department store chain for failing to disclose that it had sold childrens' outerwear which was subject to recall because it had drawstrings. Outerwear with drawstrings create a risk of strangulation and entanglement hazards.

Macy’s has denied knowingly violating the law. The CPSA has alleged that Macy’s sold recalled children’s apparel, including jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters with drawstrings after the recall had been issued. It is also alleged that the company sold some of the recalled items from its other stores, Robinson’s-May and Bloomingdales.

The CPSA received 28 reports of children who died since 1985 after apparel with drawstrings became entangled with objects causing strangulation accidents. As far back as February 1996, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) promulgated guidelines advising consumers to completely remove the drawstrings in sweatshirts. The CPSC recommended safer options including velcro, buttons, elastic, etc. The guidelines applied both around the waste and around the hood.

Although the CPSC also identified drawstrings around the waist as a potential cause of injury, 66 percent of all drawstring-related injuries or fatalities involve drawstrings around the hoods of the garments.

Examples of potential incidents reported to the CPSC include a five-year-old child who was strangled when the drawstring of her sweater became entangled on playground equipment resulting in her tragic strangulation death. An incident reported to the CPSC regarding waist drawstrings involved a 14-year-old boy. The drawstring around his waist became caught in his school bus door. The driver did not notice that the boy was entangled, and the boy suffered fatal injuries when he was pulled under the bus.

Drawstrings for hoods and the waist of sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets can cause serious injury or wrongful death of children when they get caught on playground equipment, bus doors or cribs. Despite warnings of the CPSC as far back as 1996 regarding the danger of drawstring strangulation accidents, the problem persists because of clothing that is imported. Many garments are imported from sweatshops overseas who have no regard for CPSC safety warnings.

If you are injured by a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or the tragic loss of a loved one. Georgia product liability law permits a consumer who is injured by an unsafe defective product to file a claim or lawsuit to recover financial compensation. Our Georgia product liability law firm zealously represents injury victims to get them the compensation they deserve, and so that companies will be more careful in producing products that are safe for consumers.

The Georgia product liability law firm of Montlick and Associates represents victims injured by unsafe and defective products in Atlanta and throughout all of Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured or you have lost a loved one to wrongful death caused by a defective product, contact Montlick and Associates for your free consultation. Our firm has been helping Georgia families since 1984.

Our Georgia product liability lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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