Category Archives: Consumer Product Safety

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Australian Court Imposes $3 Million Penalty for Product Safety Violations

Earlier this month, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminded businesses that, in February, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Woolworths to pay $3.057 million AUD for several violations of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Specifically, the court found that Woolworths: Over the course of three years, made false or misleading representations about the safety … Continue Reading

CPSC Representatives Lay Out Active Agenda

At the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) conference in D.C. last week, Chairman Elliot Kaye and other CPSC representatives raised eyebrows with an active agenda, which included proposed and recent changes to the civil penalty investigation and corrective action plan status quo. Specifically, the agenda includes: Publication of DOJ Referrals – The … Continue Reading

Selling Hoverboards This Holiday Season? Tips To Stay Off The CPSC’s Naughty List

A businessman commutes to work on his hoverboardHoverboards have skyrocketed as a top gift this holiday season, dominating retail shelves and website banners. Many manufacturers make the products, at a range of price points. If your company is selling these Segway-esque self-balancing boards, think closely about potential safety issues. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) reportedly has initiated an investigation into claims … Continue Reading

Consumer Product Safety Commission Approves Test Program: Electronic Filing of Certificates of Compliance

This week the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to approve a test program to assess the electronic filing of certificates of compliance at entry in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  With the idea of better coordination among partner government agencies to facilitate electronic data collection and sharing of import data, the CPSC endorsed … Continue Reading

Health Canada Releases Guidance for Industry on Its Reporting Obligations

Recently, Health Canada released guidance to help companies understand their reporting obligations under section 14 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which requires that sellers, distributors, importers, and manufacturers report after becoming aware of any health or safety incident involving a consumer product. Notably, the guidance clarifies (1) what constitutes a reportable “incident,” (2) … Continue Reading

California Bill Would Complicate Labeling Requirements for Children’s Products

California state law bill SB 763 has stayed relatively under the radar since its introduction in February 2015.  However, with recent traction in the state legislature – including passage in the Senate in June and passage in three Assembly Committees in July – this bill is definitely worth a second look. SB 763 would require manufacturers … Continue Reading

Office Depot Agrees to Pay $3.4 Million CPSC Civil Penalty

On May 27th, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that Office Depot agreed to pay a $3.4 million civil penalty for allegedly failing to report potential safety issues for two models of office chairs. According to the CPSC, Office Depot received 33 reports concerning the Quantum model and 153 concerning the Gibson model, with … Continue Reading

CPSC Bumps Up Litigation Strategies Another Notch

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) continues its increased willingness to use litigation as a tool when targeted companies disagree with the CPSC’s position, recently initiating two lawsuits seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief.  Both indicate new strategies in litigation. In the first lawsuit, the CPSC and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) seek a civil … Continue Reading

CPSC Tags Retailer With $2M Civil Penalty and Enhanced Compliance Program for Allegedly Distributing Recalled Products

Retailer superstore Meijer Inc. is on the hook for allegedly distributing recalled consumer products. In a press release dated September 17, 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced the hypermarket operating 24-hour stores and gas stations in various Midwestern states has agreed to settle charges that it knowingly sold and distributed recalled consumer products. … Continue Reading

House Appropriations Amendment Prohibits CPSC from Finalizing Voluntary Recall Proposed Rule; Senate Advances CPSC Nominees to Floor

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which provides funding for the CPSC but includes an amendment that would prohibit the Commission from using those funds to finalize, implement, or enforce its proposed rule on voluntary recalls. The amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn … Continue Reading

CPSC to Hold Workshop on Electronic Filing of Certificates of Compliance

Last week, the CPSC announced that it will be holding a workshop on the electronic filing of certificates of compliance on September 18, 2014. The workshop will discuss the May 2013 proposed amendments to the CPSC’s rule on certificates of compliance, which would require the electronic filing of certificates of compliance for regulated imported consumer … Continue Reading

CPSC Announces $3.1 Million Civil Penalty, Compliance Program for Cinmar

Last Friday, the CPSC announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with Cinmar LLC, resolving allegations that the company knowingly failed to report a defect involving its Frontgate foldaway step ladders. Under the terms of the agreement, Cinmar must pay a $3.1 million civil penalty – the highest in recent years for a single … Continue Reading

CPSC Adds New Obligations for Voluntary Corrective Action Plans

If you’ve ever conducted a Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) recall and had to complete the Monthly Progress Report to file with the CPSC, you may have wished that the CPSC also issued a “Progress Report for Dummies” guidance document. Well, they haven’t issued a guidance document, but they have posted a revised form on … Continue Reading

CPSC Acting Chairman Adler on Way to Another Term

Last week President Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert S. Adler to a second term as a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”).  Adler has held his current postion, which is scheduled to end in October 2014, since 2009 and had previously served at the CPSC as an attorney advisor to to Commissioners from … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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

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