Williams-Sonoma fined $700,000 for faulty shades

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Williams-Sonoma Inc. has agreed to pay a $700,000 fine after the government accused the home goods retailer of taking too long to report that its window shades posed a strangulation hazard to children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Williams-Sonoma knew in 2007 that kids were getting entangled in shades sold by its Potter Barn Kids stores, but didn’t report it until a year later. Companies are supposed to report possible product defaults within 24 hours, the CPSC says.

Williams-Sonoma and the CPSC recalled about 85,000 of the window shades in 2009. The CPSC says seven customers reported children becoming entangled. No injuries were reported.

By paying the fine, Williams-Sonoma is not admitting or denying CPSC’s charges. The San Francisco company did not respond to a request for comment.

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