Dimmeys fined over safety breaches
Consumer Affairs Victoria took the company to the Federal Court alleging that the products – girls’ swimwear, baby bath toys, cosmetics and basketball rings – breached safety standards.
The products were on sale between January 2011 and March 2012.
Consumer Affairs Victoria alleged the girls’ swimwear and basketball rings did not have adequate safety warning labels, the baby bath toys were choking hazards and the cosmetics – shower gift sets – did not list ingredients.
The Federal Court has also fined Starite, the company which supplied the goods to Dimmeys, $600,000.
Dimmeys and Starite were also banned from selling any goods which were subject to safety standards for six years.
The director of both Dimmeys and Starite, Douglas Edward Zappelli was fined $120,000. He has also been disqualified for six years from managing corporations.
The Federal Court ruled the $3 million penalty was adequate given the need for general deterrence when dealing with the safety of products used by children.
The court also ordered that the goods be destroyed and disposed of at the expense of Dimmeys, Starite and Zappelli.
Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Heidi Victoria said the court outcome sent a strong warning to traders that product safety breaches will not be tolerated and harsh penalties await those who try.
“Product safety laws are there for a very good reason and to sell products that are unsafe shows a flagrant disregard for consumers wellbeing,” Victoria said.
This was the first case Consumer Affairs Victoria has taken to to the Federal Court.