The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne against Fantastic Furniture Pty Ltd, Spotlight Pty Ltd and Smash Enterprises Pty Ltd.
The ACCC alleges Fantastic Furniture, Spotlight and Smash supplied bean bag covers that did not comply with the mandatory consumer product safety standard for bean bags.
Smash is a designer and wholesaler of consumer goods. Fantastic Furniture and Spotlight both own and operate retail stores in most states.
It is alleged that in October 2008 Smash supplied bean bags to Fantastic Furniture and Spotlight without the choking hazard warning label as required by the standard. Fantastic Furniture and Spotlight allegedly supplied those bean bag covers to consumers. It is further alleged that, by supplying the bean bag covers, Fantastic Furniture breached a court-enforceable undertaking it provided to the ACCC in 2008 and which has effect for three years.
The ACCC alleges that, by supplying bean bag covers that did not comply with the prescribed consumer product safety standard, Fantastic Furniture, Spotlight and Smash contravened section 65C(1)(a) of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The ACCC is seeking:
- declarations that Fantastic Furniture, Spotlight and Smash contravened the Act
- pecuniary penalties for supplies made by Fantastic Furniture after 15 April 2010*
- injunctions preventing Fantastic Furniture, Spotlight and Smash from supplying bean bags unless they comply with the standard
- orders that Spotlight and Smash each implement a trade practices compliance program, and
The matter has been filed in the Federal Court's Fast Track List and is listed for a scheduling conference in Melbourne on 7 March 2011 at 9.30 a.m.
*Under Australian Consumer Law amendments to the Act which commenced on 15 April 2010, the ACCC can seek financial penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals in civil cases for contraventions of various sections of the Act including those relating to product safety standards.
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