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Nordstrom has agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that the company knowingly failed to report to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as required by federal law, that its children’s hooded sweaters and jackets were sold with drawstrings on the hood and neck.

The products, which were eventually recalled by the company, pose a strangulation hazard that can cause death to children.

The agency issued drawstring guidelines in February 1996 to help prevent children from getting entangled and possibly strangling on hood and neck drawstrings in sweaters and jackets. In May 2006, CPCS’s Office of Compliance announced that the drawstring clothing would be considered defective and posed a substantial risk of injury to small children.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers 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 product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates any consumer product safety rule, or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC.

Nordstrom, in agreeing to settle the matter, denies allegations by the agency that it knowingly violated the law.

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