The Consumer Product Safety Commission charged Friday that the giant retailer Sears Roebuck and Co. has continued to sell lawn darts, violating its official promise to stop marketing the hazardous game.
The Safety Commission filed suit in federal district court in Washington, asking that Sears be found in contempt and be ordered to halt lawn dart sales, to survey all its stores to make sure sales have been stopped, and to compensate the commission for its costs in policing the agreement."I'm disappointed at Sears for this new violation but expect this contempt action will send a strong message to Sears and other retailers that the CPSC will enforce its regulations on lawn darts," said Commission Chairman Terrence M. Scanlon.
Sears headquarters in Chicago said in a statement: "We received the motion today from the CPSC and we are in the process of reviewing it."
Sears and the safety commission announced a consent agreement in March in which the retailer said it was halting all lawn dart sales. However, commission investigators report they later found the darts being sold by Sears in Puerto Rico.
The March agreement settled commission charges that Sears had violated federal rules that ban sales of the long, metal darts in or near toy sections of stores.
The darts, thrown at targets on the ground in a sort of horseshoes-like game, have been blamed on several injuries in recent years and at least one death. Under federal rules they can be sold only in sporting goods departments and stores.
In its statement Friday, Sears said it learned only Thursday that the darts were found on sale at one store in Puerto Rico last June.