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Friday, August 4, 2017

District Court Enters Permanent Injunctions Against New York Companies and Individuals Banning Importation of Dangerous Children's Products and Toys

The Department of Justice announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered two separate consent decrees of permanent injunction against New York company Everbright Trading Inc., its owner Yuan Xiang Gao, and its operator/manager Rong Qing Xu, and New York companies Lily Popular Varieties & Gifts Inc., Great Great Corporation, and their owners and operators Li Jing and Cheng Feng You. The injunctions generally prohibit the defendants from importing and selling toys and other children’s products until certain remedial measures are implemented.

On June 21, the Department filed two separate civil actions in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York at the request of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The complaints in each case alleged that the defendants were responsible for importing children’s products containing, among other things, lead, phthalates and small parts posing a choking hazard for children under the age of three.

According to the complaints, the CPSC found that the defendants in both cases imported toys and other children’s products in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Since March 2013, the CPSC has collected from the Everbright defendants 97 samples of toys and other non-compliant children’s products from their import shipments at the Port of New York/Newark and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Since December 2013, the CPSC has collected from the Lily Popular Varieties & Gifts defendants 72 samples of non-compliant toys and other children’s products from their facility in Maspeth, New York, and import shipments at the Ports of New York/Newark and Los Angeles. The violations in both cases include toys with illegal levels of lead, illegal levels of phthalates, and small parts that present a choking hazard for children under the age of three, as well as toys for small children that contain accessible batteries. Based on their findings, the CPSC has issued 41 letters to the Everbright defendants and 13 letters to the Lily Popular Varieties & Gifts defendants notifying them that their products violated federal standards.

“Companies who do not comply with CPSC’s statutes and regulations regarding toys put American children at risk,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Parents have a right to expect that the toys their children play with are safe.”

“Consumers across the country rely on our agency to protect their children from unsafe and dangerous children’s products,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “We take this responsibility very seriously and will take the necessary action to keep unsafe products out of the hands of our children. I appreciate and value the support from and collaboration with the Department of Justice.”

“There is no greater responsibility of the Department of Justice than to protect our nation’s children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde of the Eastern District of New York. “The actions demonstrate the Department’s commitment to keeping our children safe from potentially harmful products.”

The consent decrees resolve both cases brought by the Department. The decrees generally require the defendants to stop importing, selling, or distributing toys and other children’s products until they implement numerous remedial measures that will bring their operations into compliance with the law. These include, among other measures, implementing a product safety and testing program, hiring a product safety coordinator, having products tested by accredited testing bodies, and submitting to monitoring by the CPSC. In general, the defendants will be permitted to resume selling toys and other children’s products only after implementing these measures and demonstrating that their operations fully comply with the law.

The case against Everbright Trading Inc., Yuan Xiang Gao, and Rong Qing Xu is being handled by Trial Attorney Timothy T. Finley of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Olds of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, with the assistance of Renee McCune of the CPSC’s Office of the General Counsel.

The case against Lily Popular Varieties & Gifts Inc., Great Great Corporation, Li Jing, and Cheng Feng You is being handled by Trial Attorney Arturo DeCastro of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Olds of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, with the assistance of Amy Colvin of the CPSC’s Office of the General Counsel.

For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch.

Updated August 18, 2017