August 30, 2000
L.L. Bean Inc. to Pay $750,000 Civil Penalty for Delay in
Reporting Backpack Child Carriers
Washington - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) announced today that
L.L. Bean, Inc., of Freeport, Maine, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $750,000. The
civil penalty settles allegations that L.L. Bean violated the Consumer Product Safety Act
because the firm delayed in reporting to CPSC that two of its backpack child carriers were
CPSC alleges L.L. Bean delayed in reporting that children can work their way out of the
harness and fall through a leg opening or topple out of the top of the carriers. CPSC
alleges that L.L. Bean knew of 39 incidents involving the two carriers, before the company
reported to CPSC. One child suffered a concussion and fractured wrist. Six children
suffered contusions, lacerations, bumps or bruises. In addition, four children became
entangled in the units' shoulder straps, creating a risk of strangulation.
Both backpack child carriers (can be viewed here)
are used by adults to carry small children. Both were sold through the L.L. Bean website,
catalogs, and retail stores in Maine, Oregon, New Hampshire and Delaware. The model number
W695 backpack child carrier is teal green (blueish green), with gray harnesses and a
kickstand. L.L. Bean sold about 13,000 model number W695 carriers for about $95, from
January 1993 through March 1995, and recalled them on April 19, 1999. The model number
AC25 backpack child carrier is forest green, has gray harnesses, and a kickstand. The
company sold about 11,800 AC25 carriers, for about $95, from January 1997 through October
1998, and recalled them on December 10, 1998.
In agreeing to settle this matter, L.L.
Bean denies that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act or any other law
administered by CPSC.
Consumers who have either of these carriers should stop using them immediately and should
call L.L. Bean at (800) 555-9717 for return and refund information.