RC2 Agrees To Pay $1.25 Million Over Lead Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just worked out another penalty settlement with a toy company over those lead-tainted toys that graced shelves from 2005 to 2007. Reuters says RC2 will pay a $1.25 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that it “imported and sold Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys with paints and surface coatings that contained lead levels above legal limits.” About two years ago, RC2 settled a class-action lawsuit over the same toys.

“US agency says RC2 to pay $1.25 mln civil penalty” [Reuters]


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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Come on…who wants to make the first Thomas the Poison Tank Engine joke.

  2. Snarkysnake says:

    The CPSC needs to stop these settlements. They have become a business strategy for the purveyors of lethality. There needs to be real consequences for poisoning human beings and possibly KILLING them.

    We have a court system in this country. We have the rule of law.Why are we acting like there is no way to hold companies and individuals responsible for their actions ?

    If I go down to Target and poison some medicine or food , I face criminal charges . That’s only just. But if a company harms millions , they get off with less than a slap on the wrist.

    • ARP says:

      I realize your answer was partially snark, but in response:

      1) They employ a lot of people and so nobody wants to shut them down, even when they’re evil.
      2) They pay many lawyers to defend claims, so that they don’t get more than a slap on the wrist.
      3) They lobby congress and fund astroturf groups (e.g. teabaggers) for “tort reform” so that even when they poison someone, the victims can’t recover that much.
      4) Corporations are “people” in all the ways that benefit them, but not people in all they ways that can harm them (e.g. going to jail). Sure, a company can be held criminally responsible, but how often do you see all “c-suite” doing a perp walk for anything but the most egregious financial crimes?

  3. ARP says:

    I always ask myself the same questions when it comes to these sorts of penalties:

    1) How much did they make v. how much they paid in penalty/litigation?
    2) Did the violation receive enough press/media coverage to disuade them from continuing/doing it again/putting in better processes?

    Because if you thinking they’re doing it because some kids could get hurt, then you’ve probably got it wrong

    • craptastico says:

      $1.25 million seems pretty small for putting lead into toys, which should be specifically designed with the knowledge that a kid will put them in their mouth. also their should be a criminal penalty, at least negligence, for someone at that company. i bet if whoever is in charge of testing/or outsourcing where these are built, knew they had real responsiblity and consequences they would be a little more thorough.

  4. Scamazon says:

    That is just a slap on the wrist. They sold how much in tainted toys? The fine should be more than that amount. And then what happens to the money?