A downtown Los Angeles jewelry distributor has been fined $1.6 million for selling products with lead and cadmium levels exceeding state limits, state regulators and the state attorney general announced April 24.
The state officials said in press releases that they had secured a default judgment against Luxy Accessory Inc. and its president and owner Hyun Sook Kim of $1,626,000 in civil penalties and an order to comply with state limits for the toxic chemicals in any future manufacture, distribution or sale of jewelry products.
The statement from Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that neither Kim nor any other representatives from Luxy acknowledged the lawsuit or showed up at numerous hearings or court appearances, which is why Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick’s ruling was considered a default judgment.
The California Secretary of State website identifies Kim as the president of Luxy Accessories, located at 208 E 6th St. in downtown. The business is listed as suspended.
According to the press releases, Luxy has been in violation of state laws for lead and cadmium levels in jewelry it sells since 2012, both for the concentration levels and for falsely labeling the products as “lead free.” An initial investigation by the state Department of Toxic Substances Control ended with the company being assessed $145,000 in civil penalties in 2014.
Subsequent inspections found continuing violations. Last November, the DTSC placed Luxy’s products in quarantine.
“Luxy routinely endangered consumers, including children, with seemingly innocent products that instead posed serious health risks,” DTSC Director Barbara Lee said in the press release statement after the default judgment. “This judgment sends a clear message that this deceptive, unsafe activity will not be tolerated, and violators will face severe consequences.”
Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.