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Updates on consumer protection trends, issues, & developments

Category Archives: Consumer Product Safety

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When Developing an Ad, Don’t Flush Safety Considerations down the Toilet

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety
At our recent seminar, Views from Congress, Enforcers and Advocates: Special Advertising and Marketing Considerations Designed to Protect Children, we discussed the importance of safety considerations when developing an ad. These considerations can take many forms and are not limited to advertising for children’s products – the claims may be about the safety benefits of … Continue Reading

Fit To Be Tied? Lessons from the Fitbit Recall

Posted in Advertising, Advertising Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Consumer Product Safety, FDA
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced a recall of the Fitbit Force, a wireless activity-tracking wristband, because of consumer reports of rashes, skin irritation and blistering.  Consumers are directed to stop using the product and it is now illegal to sell or resell the product.  As is increasingly common, announcement of the recall was … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye to Host Discussion With Key Leaders on Advertising and Marketing Products for Children

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, Federal Trade Commission, Kelley Drye, Privacy and Information Security
On March 13, 2014, the DC office of Kelley Drye will host a policy discussion on the special considerations in legislative, regulatory, and enforcement initiatives designed to protect children. The discussion will focus on the established and emerging issues in product safety and advertising and marketing products for children. Kelley Drye is delighted to have … Continue Reading

CPSC Pushes Forward with Changes to Public Disclosure Rules

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety
As we reported last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) is considering proposed changes to the rules that restrict the Commission’s ability to disclose information about a consumer product to the public (either on its own or in response to a Freedom of Information Act request) without first notifying the manufacturer.  The … Continue Reading

CPSC Considering Changes to Public Disclosure Rules

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety
On January 14, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) published proposed changes to the rules that restrict the Commission’s ability to disclose information about a consumer product to the public (either on its own or in response to a Freedom of Information Act request) without first notifying the manufacturer. In the Briefing Package, … Continue Reading

When the FTC Comes Calling…

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, Federal Trade Commission
A new article published by the Household and Personal Products Industry (HAPPI), “When the FTC Comes Calling…”, explains how to handle product claim investigations. The article outlines what companies can expect in the event of a Federal Trade Commission investigation, especially given that health and performance claims made by companies in the personal care products … Continue Reading

Settlement Approved in Neutrogena Naturals Class Action

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Marketers of natural personal care products will want to take note of a recent nationwide settlement over marketing and advertising for Neutrogena Naturals. Plaintiffs filed suit in the Northern District of California in January of 2012. They alleged that product labels and website advertising for Neutrogena Naturals facial cleansers, body washes, and moisturizers violated California … Continue Reading

Senate Confirms Two New CPSC Commissioners

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Late Thursday night, the Senate confirmed President Obama’s two appointments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”), Marietta S. Robinson and former Representative Ann Marie Buerkle.  The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmed the women by unanimous consent, without hearings, ensuring that the upcoming departure of Commissioner Nancy Nord will not leave … Continue Reading

White House Nominates New CPSC Commissioner and CPSC Adds Director of Compliance and Field Operations

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
With a looming departure date for Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC" or "Commission") Commissioner Nancy Nord that would leave the CPSC without a quorum, the Obama Administration announced last week the nomination of former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to serve as a Republican Commissioner. During her single term, Congresswoman Buerkle criticized what she described as … Continue Reading

Mandated Compliance Programs as the New Normal? Williams-Sonoma Agrees to $987,000 CPSC Civil Penalty & Comprehensive Compliance Program

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
The tide continues to rise for Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) civil penalties as the Commission announces a $987,000 penalty against Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and the company’s agreement to implement an extensive compliance program. On Monday, the CPSC announced that Williams-Sonoma has agreed to pay the civil penalty to resolve allegations that the company knowingly failed … Continue Reading

A New CPSC Chairman at the End of the Year?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Yesterday Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), announced at the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization’s ("ICPHSO") annual conference that she will not seek renomination when her term expires in October 2013. She took the position in 2009, and her confirmation brought the Commission to three sitting Commissioners for the … Continue Reading

CPSC Imposes Another Six-Figure Civil Penalty

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
The Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") recently announced a settlement with Whalen Furniture Manufacturing, Inc. (d/b/a Bayside Furnishings), resolving allegations that the company failed to file a timely Section 15(b) Report and imposing a $725,000 civil penalty. The penalty demonstrates that the CPSC will be particularly aggressive when it goes to a company to seek … Continue Reading

Round Two: President Obama Renominates Marietta Robinson as CPSC Commissioner

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
President Obama has (again) nominated Marietta S. Robinson to fill the open Democrat seat at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  The President nominated her last January, and she had a Senate confirmation hearing, but the Senate took no further steps to confirm her nomination.  The President has not nominated anyone to fill the open Republican … Continue Reading

Three’s Company (or a Crowd)? CPSC Files Lawsuit Against Third Magnet Ball Seller

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Earlier this week, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Star Networks USA, LLC, the seller of Star Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. The Commission voted 2-1 to file the complaint, with Commissioner Nord voting against the f. As described in our previous post, the CPSC has already filed three other administrative complaints since July, … Continue Reading

Is CPSC the New “National Nanny?” Agency Files Third Lawsuit In Five Months Against Maker of Nap Nanny

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
On Wednesday, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC, the manufacturer of Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners. The CPSC alleges there have been at least five deaths and over 70 additional incidents resulting from the use of the products. The Commission voted 3-0 to file the complaint after discussions … Continue Reading

CPSC Issues Long Awaited Rules on Testing

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
The CPSC just issued the final rule on testing and certification for children’s products. The final rule, effective February 8, 2013, requires manufacturers, importers, and private labelers to test representative samples of all children’s products to ensure compliance with the applicable safety rule(s). The CPSC voted 2-1 to approve the proposed rule without changes.  Commissioner … Continue Reading

CPSC Announces New General Counsel

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
On December 3, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") Chairman Inez Tenenbaum announced the hiring of former Georgetown University Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Tsacoumis as new General Counsel for the Commission. The Office of the General Counsel advises and counsels the CPSC Chairman and Commissioners, coordinates rulemaking, and pursues administrative lawsuits and … Continue Reading

Course Set for Higher CPSC Civil Penalties

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
As the CPSC staff begins to negotiate settlements under new authority granted through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, companies can expect more aggressive positions from the CPSC. Recent consent agreements give insights for the road ahead and turns companies should avoid taking when navigating product safety issues. Manufacturers, importers and sellers of consumer products … Continue Reading

CPSC Issues Revised Recall Handbook and New Guidelines for Reverse Logistics Plans

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") announced a revised version of its Recall Handbook and new Guidelines for Retailers and Reverse Logistics Providers ("Reverse Logistics Guidelines").  Although much of the documents’ content reflects existing law and Commission practice, the guidance confirms an increasing focus on new media and on tracking recalled products.  For example, … Continue Reading

HP Agrees to Pay $425,000 CPSC Penalty

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") announced that Hewlett-Packard Company has agreed to pay a $425,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that the company failed to report safety issues with its lithium-ion battery pack to the CPSC in a timely manner. Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act requires companies to report immediately … Continue Reading

Build-a-Bear Workshop, Inc. Agrees to Pay $600,000 Civil Penalty and to Forego Indemnification

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC" or "Commission") announced provisional acceptance of a $600,000 civil penalty settlement with Build-a-Bear Workshop, Inc. The agreement resolves CPSC staff allegations that the company failed to report potential safety issues to the Commission in a timely manner pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). … Continue Reading

Third Largest Toy-Related Fine Issued By CPSC: Spin Master Agrees To Pay $1.3 Million Civil Penalty

Posted in Consumer Product Safety
Yesterday the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that Spin Master, Inc., agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.3 million for selling and failing to report that Aqua Dots, a product Spin Master distributed, contained a substance that metabolizes into the “date rape drug” when ingested. Aqua Dots was a craft kit that … Continue Reading