Department of Justice Sues Michaels Stores for Failing to Report Product Defect
April 20, 2009: Another customer was injured when the vase broke and cut a customer between her thumb and forefinger, which later required surgery and then a cast for five weeks. The customer has lost nerve sensation in her fingers. Michaels forwarded the injury report to The Gerson Co., which procured the vases.
July 18, 2009: A customer who bought the vase accidentally put her right thumb through the vase, causing it to shatter and requiring her to get surgery to repair tendon and nerve damage.
Sept. 24, 2009: Another customer who purchased the vase had it shatter in his hand after he filled it with water. After having surgery to repair a damaged tendon and nerve, his recovery became complicated by an infection.
Oct. 31, 2009: A customer was taken to the hospital via an ambulance from the store parking lot. She had picked up the vase she purchased and it shattered. She needed eight stitches to her hand.
Dec. 10, 2009: Upon picking up the vase at Michaels, a customer's thumb went through the glass, causing a laceration at the base of her thumb.
Dec. 22, 2009: A vase shattered in a customer's hands after she took it home
The complaint alleges that when Michaels notified the CPSC on Feb. 22, 2010, it claimed to have not imported the vases. That statement cleared Michaels of the legal responsibility for the recall as well as associated costs of the recall, forcing The Gerson Co., in September 2010, to recall about 211,000 20" vases sold in the U.S. and Canada. Michaels allegedly admitted to being the importer in February 2012.
"As a further result of Michaels' material misrepresentation, Michaels ' name was not prominently cited in the recall alert, nor was Michaels identified in the recall alert as the manufacturer," the complaint noted. "Moreover, Michaels was not required to accept returns or assume any legal responsibility in connection with the recall. Instead, consumers were directed to call a 1-800 number and to return the product to Gerson."