Australian Sports Retailer Decathlon Fined $1.5 Million Over Incorrect Warning Labels on Basketball Hoops, Pools

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered sporting goods retailer Decathlon to pay $1.5 million for selling basketball hoops and inflatable pools with incorrect warning labels, breaching consumer law.

On Aug. 17, Justice John Nicholas ruled that Decathlon was “careless” after it admitted to supplying, between 2016 to 2019, several models of basketball hoops and portable swimming pools that had missing safety labels, consumer warnings, or use instructions required by safety standards.

“Mandatory safety standards exist to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to consumers, especially children, when using these types of products,” Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.

The pools, which were over 30 centimeters deep, were missing warnings such as “children have drowned in portable swimming pools,” “ensure active adult supervision at all times,” and “pool fencing laws apply to this pool.”

The basketball hoops, meanwhile, had misleading representations that indicated that the hoops were safe to attach to brickwork when they were not.

According to Rickard, a brick wall “cannot cope with the stresses placed on them when people perform slam dunks, which could lead to serious or fatal injuries if the wall collapses.”

“The Court found that Decathlon sold the products that did not comply with the relevant standards as a result of a general lack of attention to its legal responsibilities coupled with a failure to take effective and timely action,” ACCC said.

The court also ordered Decathlon to publish a corrective notice on its website, to implement a compliance program to Australian Consumer Law, and to pay the costs of the ACCC.

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