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Fiskars Product Safety Case Offers Compliance Lessons

Jaclyn Jaeger | January 2, 2015

Gerber Legendary Blades, a division of Fiskars Brands, this week agreed to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to the Department of Justice to settle allegations that it knowingly failed to immediately report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission a safety hazard associated with Fiskars’ Gator Combo Axe. As part of the settlement, Fiskars also agreed to establish and maintain a compliance program with internal recordkeeping and monitoring systems to keep track of information about product safety hazards. 

Under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must report product hazards to the CPSC.  A knowing violation of the CPSA subjects a firm to civil penalties.  In agreeing to the settlement, which is still awaiting judicial approval, Fiskars has not admitted that it knowingly violated the CPSA. 

The Axe was a combination product that had a knife embedded in its handle...

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