This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 19, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, to Los Angeles right now and more toy trouble, this time a lawsuit being filed today against 20 toymakers and retailers. It will force them to beef up inspections and warnings. It follows a series of recalls from China involving toys tainted with lead.
Rocky Delgadillo is with the city of Los Angeles, a city attorney there. He is filing the lawsuit along with the California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Sir, good to have you.
There is a $2,500-per-infraction charge on companies found guilty of doing this, right?
ROCKY DELGADILLO, LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY: Well that's part of it.
But what we really want to have here is behavior change. What we would like to have is that toys are safe that are sold here in the United States, and particularly here in Los Angeles and in the state of California.
CAVUTO: OK. So, if you slap that fine on them, though, you are going to drive Mattel and a host of others right out of business, right?
DELGADILLO: Well, I don't think so.
I think what we're going to — what we're going to do is make sure that they put in place protocols that will make sure that these toys are safe, that there will be sweeps once we put these protocols in place, and that they reformulate the product, so that the toys that come to America are good American toys that are sold to people here in...
CAVUTO: All right. But you are doing this after the barn door is open, Rocky, right? I mean, all the poison toys, the lead and everything else, it has all come to pass, all right?
So, now, after the fact, you're saying, all right, I guess, if you do this again, you are in big, whomping trouble. And I guess what I'm asking is, certainly, Mattel knows that, either through its own stupidity or just dealing with the Chinese that didn't see it. But the damage is done, right?
DELGADILLO: Well, no. Look, I have learned over time dealing with consumer issues that you can't self-regulate. These companies can't self- regulate. And they have tried to, and it hasn't worked. We have had recall after recall after recall, and now a lawsuit.
I don't want this to ever happen in the future. So, we need a third party, independent party, to deal with looking at these companies to make sure that they are selling safe products to our kids.
CAVUTO: It's a meritorious goal. I'm not taking that away, Rocky. What I am saying is that, in the end, if you are slapping this $2,500 per infraction on a company that has had thousands of recalls, right, that infraction alone, that charge, that — is enough to drive it out of business. What have you gained...
DELGADILLO: Well, I...
CAVUTO: No, no, no. Wait.
What have you gained from doing so?
DELGADILLO: Well, what I think our — our number-one goal is not to do that. It's out there. They have that liability. But our goal is not to put that on them.
Our goal is, is to put protocols in place, have sweeps, if necessary, reformulate the products, so that, in the future, these toys are not tainted with lead.
CAVUTO: Wait a minute.
Does this address, Rocky, what has already been the case, all these toys and doll parts and everything that have been recalled or found to have lead or other poisonous features to them? Does it include or them or is this is all new stuff going forward?
DELGADILLO: It does include them to the extent that they are liable for that. But what we really want to do is to prevent it from happening in the future.
CAVUTO: OK. Well, there you go. There you go.
CAVUTO: No, wait a minute.
If they are liable for that, you have got hundreds of thousands of items recalled at $2,500 a piece. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I got to tell you, Rocky, that is enough to drive Mattel underground.
DELGADILLO: Right. And...
CAVUTO: And you're happy with that? You're OK with that?
CAVUTO: You're OK with that?
DELGADILLO: No, I can tell you this, that we're — no, what I'm OK with is not — not holding it over their head, but getting them to change their behavior in the future. If they change their behavior, then those — that liability won't be smacked on them, and, in fact, they will change their behavior, and we will have safe toys here in America from American companies.
CAVUTO: All right. Rocky, thank you very much. We will see what happens.
DELGADILLO: Thank you.
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