Gerber Legendary Knives Fined $2.6 Million
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Gerber Legendary Blades will pay a $2.6 million penalty for failing to report a defect in one of its products.
CPSC: Defect posed “Unreasonable Risk of Serious Injury”
The fine concerned Gerber’s Gator Combo Axe. In their complaint, the U.S. Department of Justice claimed that the knife that held inside the Gator Combo Axe’s handle could dislodge from its holding when the axe was being used for chopping or hammering.
In 2005, Fiskars Brands Inc., owner of Gerber Legendary Blades, began receiving reports of consumers suffering serious lacerations and injuries in connection to the product. Several injuries were so serious that they required surgery.
Despite these reports, Fiskar did not announce a recall for the product until 2011.
Gerber Fined for Recall Delay
Manufacturers, retailer, and distributors are required by law to report any defects which may result in injury or death to federal regulators in a timely manner. Further, the report must be made as soon as a company obtains information which reasonably supports the presence of such a defect.
According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, S. Amanda Marshall, Fiskar’s failure to follow these regulations and report the combo axe’s defect directly contributed to the continued injury of consumers.
As such, Gerber has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2.6 million. Further, the company has been ordered to create and maintain a compliance plan to ensure that a similar failure does not occur in the future.