Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking,
Aspiration Hazard with a Popular Children’s Toy
WASHINGTON , D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
announced today that Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y., has agreed
to pay a $975,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which the Commission has
provisionally accepted, settles allegations that the company failed to
report to the government that a nail fastener in the Little People(r)
Animal Sounds Farm could separate from the toy and pose a serious
choking or aspiration hazard to young children.
About 67,000 Little People(r) Animal Sounds Farms were sold nationwide
by Fisher-Price from June 2002 through July 2002. In September 2002, the
company received its first report of a nail fastener coming loose from
one of the toy barn’s stall doors. Over the next two months,
Fisher-Price received nine additional reports, including one case of a
child placing the nail fastener in her mouth.
By February 2003, Fisher-Price had received two reports of parents
concerned that this problem posed a choking hazard to children and a
report of a December 30, 2002 incident in which a 14-month old child
aspirated a nail fastener into his lung. The child was taken to the
hospital and underwent an emergency surgical procedure to have the metal
nail fastener removed.
It was not until March 2003 that the company reported the safety hazard
with the Little People(r) Animal Farm to the Commission. By that time,
Fisher-Price was aware of at least 33 reports in which the nail fastener
came loose from the stall doors. These included four reports of children
who put the metal nail fastener in their mouths and the one case of the
child who aspirated the nail fastener.
Federal law requires firms to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion
that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk
of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury
or death, or violates a federal safety standard.
In April 2003, CPSC and Fisher-Price announced the recall of the Little
People(r) Animal Sounds Farms and recommended that consumers take the
toy away from young children immediately and contact the company to
receive a free repair kit. Consumers can still call Fisher-Price anytime
at (866) 259-7873 or order the repair kit online at
In agreeing to settle the matter, Fisher-Price Inc. denies CPSC’s
allegations that the company knowingly violated the law.
Prior to the loss of quorum, the Commission delegated authority to the
Office of Compliance and Field Operations to settle this matter with
Fisher-Price before March 1, 2007.
To see this release on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the
recalled product, please go to:
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