Toy manufacturer Henry Gordy International, Inc. has agreed to pay a $1.1
million penalty in an agreement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) over a toy gun set that allegedly caused several deaths.
An investigation by the CPSC found that Henry Gordy knew about the defect
in its “Auto Fire Target Set” but chose not to report it.
The gun set, which sold in Family Dollar Stores across the nation from
2005 to early 2009 for about $1.50 a set, included a toy gun, soft plastic
darts, and a target. The darts were found to be choking hazards.
Henry Gordy, according to the CPSC, knew about the defect in spring of
2006 but didn’t report it. Henry Gordy had learned of an 8-year-old
choking to death on a toy dart at that time, and in the summer redesigned
the toy and included a warning on its packaging. In early 2007, however,
another death occurred, and then in the fall of 2007 a third death took
place. By the time Henry Gordy reported the hazard to the CPSC, it was
May of 2009, and the company did not disclose information about the first
death or mention the resulting redesign of the toy.
Also in May of 2010 Henry Gordy refused to issue a recall of the toy, so
the Family Dollar Stores and CPSC launched the recall. It included some
1.8 million toy sets. Unfortunately, about a week after the recall, another
child choked to death on a dart.
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