-- Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
today that New Jersey has entered into a
multi-state settlement agreement with the
toy manufacturer Mattel, Inc. and its subsidiary,
Fisher-Price, Inc., that resolves a 16-month
long investigation into events that resulted
in a voluntary recall of the company’s
toys for excessive lead paint during 2007.
Filed today in New Jersey Superior Court
in Mercer County, the agreement requires
Mattel to make a total payment of $12 million
to be divided among 38 participating states.
The deadline for the settlement payment
is January 30, 2009. New Jersey’s
share of the payout is approximately $259,000.
From August 2, 2007 through October 25,
2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) recalled approximately two million
Mattel and Fisher-Price toys manufactured
in China, alleging that the toys contained
excessive lead in accessible surface coatings.
At the time of the recalls, the CPSC limit
on lead in accessible surface coatings was
600-parts-per-million. Testing data reviewed
during the multi-state investigation revealed
that lead levels in the recalled toys not
only exceeded federal limits but, in some
instances, reached levels of more than 10,000
ppm and 50,000 ppm.
The multi-state agreement announced today
includes more stringent standards for accessible
lead both in surface coatings and substrates.
The agreement is effective for toys manufactured
after November 30, 2008.
is an important settlement for children
in New Jersey,’’ said Attorney
General Milgram. “Lead is a highly
toxic metal, and can have serious –
sometimes fatal – effects on young
people who come into contact with it. We
are committed to doing everything we can
to ensure that the toys sold in our state
Since the states first contacted Mattel
in August 2007, Congress has enacted the
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
(CPSIA), which sets more stringent standards
for lead in surface coatings and substrates
as of February 2009.
a result of the multi-state settlement agreement,
however, Mattel has agreed to phase in more
stringent lead standards ahead of the timelines
provided by the CPSIA.
has also agreed to notify New Jersey and
the other participating states if it confirms
excessive lead in any of its products in
violation of the law or the settlement agreement,
and to work with the states to remedy such
Attorney General Cathleen O’Donnell,
of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section
within the Division of Law, handled the
Mattel settlement on behalf of the state.