Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has been ordered to pay a penalty of around $3 million for selling faulty home-brand goods. Justice James Edelman in penalty judgement delivered on Friday said that the company failed to recall and report the faulty products and thus lead to have shoppers injured. The $3 million penalty was needed to ensure that the supermarket sell safe products in the future, the judgement said. It would also bring in deterrence.
Woolsworth’s failure to recall the faulty products lead to a child burning a hole in her leg and an employee injuring his eyes. In addition there were reports of people hitting head on metal door and concrete ground. “The contraventions in this case involved different conduct and different events … the most serious contravening conduct by Woolworths stemmed from the same systemic conduct in a broad sense,” he said.
Meanwhile Woolworths said that the supermarket is sorry and issued a “sincere apology” to all its customers. The ACCC proceeding leading to the verdict started in 2014. Many of Woolwoths products, including a drain cleaner with a faulty child-proof lid, a deep fryer with weak handles and self-igniting safety matches were found faulty and hazardous to those who use it. The supermarket sold them its stores for almost three years even after multiple cases of injuries being reported. The padded flop chair could only support less than 92 kilograms, where the supermarket claimed that it could bear up to 115 kilograms, Justice Edelman said.