Target agrees to settlement in N.J.

Nick Rees Nov. 10, 2009, 4:24pm


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - The Target Corporation has agreed to a $375,000 settlement with New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram to resolve a lawsuit alleging that infant formula and non-prescription drugs were sold beyond their expiration dates.

The settlement also resolves allegations that merchandise sold did not match posted prices and allegations that Target failed to maintain sufficient quantities of advertised merchandise, failed to post its raincheck policy, failed to post bicycle safety notices, and violated a previous consent order with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

Target has agreed to not sell or offer for sale any non-prescription drugs or infant formula beyond the state expiration dates and to check expiration dates before displaying such merchandise for sale. Target will also conduct weekly checks of expiration dates of merchandise offered for sale and will arrange the destruction or return to the manufacturer or supplier of any expired merchandise removed from store shelves.

"We will continue to monitor all major retail chains to ensure that consumer rights are protected and out-of-date non-prescription drugs and infant formula are not available for sale on store shelves," Milgram said.

Target also agreed to voluntarily create a Group Pricing Compliance Specialist senior management position as part of the agreement. The new position will monitor compliance with Target's policies as well as with the settlement terms as to price accuracy. All Target employees in the state will also receive initial training in price accuracy under the agreement. The compliance position and the training will be in effect for two years.

Additionally, Target agreed as part of the settlement to not sell or offer for sale merchandise at a price exceeding the posted price at the point of display.

No merchandise will be sold or offered for sale unless the total selling price is plainly market by a stamp, tag, label or sign under the agreement. Target has also agreed to carry a sufficient quantity of advertised merchandise to meet anticipated demand or will advertise merchandise as available in limited quantities.

Target will also post its raincheck policy as well as notices required by the state's Bicycle Safety Act and Regulations in conspicuous locations.

The Sept. 2008 lawsuit against Target stems from inspections of 21 of Target's 40 New Jersey stores by investigators from the Division of Consumer Affair's Office of Consumer Protection and the Office of Weights and Measures.

The $375,000 settlement represents $350,000 in civil penalties, $10,000 for the State's attorneys fees and $15,000 for the costs of the investigation.

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Target Corporation
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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