PetSmart has reached a $4.25 million settlement with the federal government after the corporation failed to immediately alert authorities that an alleged defect in two brands of fish bowls sold by the company could cause them to break and severely injure pet owners.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced on Monday that after a 4-1 decision, the agency had approved the settlement for PetSmart’s violations of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which requires corporations report defects immediately.
According to the CPSC, PetSmart committed several violations during its recall of the defective fish bowls.
Between April 2009 and Sept. 2013, PetSmart imported and attempted to sell an estimated 127,500 Grreat Choice and Top Fin-brand bowls, which contained a defect that caused them to easily break and shatter.
The CPSC noted that despite receiving complaints from consumers about the shatter risks of the fish bowls as early as Aug. 2011, PetSmart did not report the defective products until Jan. 2014.
When the pet supply company initially issued the recall in April 2014, it reported selling approximately 10,200 fish bowls between Feb. and Sept. 2013. However, CPSC investigators later discovered that nearly 91,500 defective bowls had been sold since March 2010, leading to an expanded recall in Nov. 2015.
When PetSmart filed the 2014 report with the CPSC, the federal agency had received 19 reports of fish bowls breaking, cracking or shattering during normal use. At least 12 consumers reported severe injuries, including lacerations that required stitches and further surgery. By the time the expanded recall was announced, the number of reported incidences had grown to 32, according to the CPSC.
PetSmart further violated CPSC standards by downplaying the true range of products subject to recall when it knowingly underreported the number of defective fish bowls it had actually sold and failed to provide an accurate report of the number in circulation, the CPSC said.
Along with the $4.25 million fine, PetSmart is cooperating in an enhanced compliance program with the CPSC in order to prevent any future violations. Although PetSmart has reached a settlement, it does not represent an admission of guilt, the CPSC stated.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to PetSmart’s defective Grreat Choice or Top-fin fish bowls, or another defective product, do not hesitate to contact the Arnold Law Firm’s experienced defective product lawyers. We will dedicate the full capacity of our resources to help you receive maximum compensation. A Sacramento personal injury attorney from our firm will work on a contingency fee basis and will review your claim for free to determine if you have a case.
Call (916) 777-7777 to get started today.