Federal regulators are seeking to permanently stop the business activity of four manufacturers and importers of children’s products and toys that allegedly contain improper levels of lead, chemical plasticizers and other hazards.
According to the complaint filed in California federal district court, the defendants are selling, importing or distributing children’s products in violation of the federal Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
The complaint was filed in the Central District of California by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC says that they issued letters of advice to the defendants that their products violated the law, “but the defendants knowingly continued to import, distribute, or sell products that were violative without informing the CPSC.”
The defendants include four companies: Toys Distribution, Inc. (TDI), S & J Merchandise, Inc., BLJ Apparel, Inc., and All Season Sales, Inc. Also named are six individuals: Loan Tuyet Thai, Lan My Lam, Paul Phuong, Cuc T. Thai, Tom Liu and Luan Luu.
TDI and the related individual defendants operate a warehouse in Los Angeles. The CPSC said 61 of 66 samples taken from those defendants’ imports in the last five years had illegal levels of lead content, lead paint and phthalates, toys for children under the age of three containing small parts, infant rattles which could cause choking or suffocation, and products “lacking required certification based on third-party testing and lacking tracking labels.”
S & J Merchandise and the related individual defendants operate a warehouse in El Monte, Calif. The CPSC said 17 of 18 samples taken from those defendants’ imports in the last three years had similar violations to TDI.
BLJ Apparel and related individual defendants operate a warehouse in South El Monte, Calif. The CPSC said all four samples taken from those defendants’ imports in the last two years had similar violations to TDI.
All Season Sales and related individual defendants operate a warehouse in Montebello, Calif. The CPSC said all 12 samples taken from those defendants’ imports in the last year had similar violations to TDI.
According to the complaint, seven products from TDI , 13 from S & J, two from BLJ and 12 from Season also failed to have tracking labels, which are required to enable product manufacturers and consumers to ascertain where and when the products were made.
Amaris Elliott-Engel is a contributing writer for The National Law Journal.