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Dollar Tree, Dollar General & Family Dollar all fined for selling expired drugs

Ann Schmidt

Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have all been fined for selling expired products including over-the-counter drugs.

The discount retail chains will pay $1.2 million in fines and damages, according to a press release from the New York Attorney General on Monday.

“New York consumers have a right to expect that products on store shelves are safe, fresh and suitable for their advertised use,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

“These settlements will ensure that Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar will not only pay both a substantial fine and damages, but, more importantly, update their business practices to comply with the law so that no expired over-the-counter drugs are sold to a New York consumer again,” James added.

Dollar General will pay $1,100,000 in damages and penalties, while Dollar Tree and Family Dollar  -- which was acquired by Dollar Tree in 2015 -- will pay $100,000.

The fines come after investigators went undercover in the three discount chains throughout the state, according to the release.

An investigation that began in March 2016 found that all three stores sold over-the-counter drugs that were past their expiration dates, which is prohibited by state law.

Investigators also found that Dollar General stores sold store-branded motor oils that aren’t usable for modern engines, including some oil that isn’t good for car engines built after 1930 and some oil that isn’t good for cars built after 1988.

In December 2017, investigators also found that Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores did not comply with New York bottle deposit laws by not accepting bottles they are required to, as well as charging a bottle deposit on bottles that are not subject to the state law.

Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar all agreed to reform their management of selling and stocking over-the-counter drugs, the release said.

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Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have also agreed to comply with bottle deposit laws and Dollar General has stopped selling out-of-date motor oil, the release said.

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