Christie Grymes Thompson

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Worlds Collide: FTC Answers CPSC’s Request for Written Comments on IoT and Product Hazards

If you follow our blog, you know that we often write about issues involving the FTC and the CPSC, but we usually do not write about both in the same post. Now those worlds have collided. The staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”), a prominent voice in the Internet of Things dialogue, … Continue Reading

Confirmation of Dana Baiocco as CPSC Commissioner Ends Democrat Majority

Months after she was initially nominated, today the U.S. Senate confirmed Dana Baiocco (R) as the next CPSC Commissioner in a 50-45 vote, replacing Marietta Robinson (D), whose term expired in October 2017. Ms. Baiocco’s confirmation brings the Commission to two Republicans and two Democrats. Ms. Baiocco was originally approved by the Senate Committee on … Continue Reading

CPSC to Hear About the Safety Consequences If a Smart Device Isn’t So Smart

Manufacture, import, or sell a connected device?  In addition to the potential hazards associated with the physical performance of the product, you also need to consider the potential hazards associated with the product’s connectivity.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is considering the Internet of Things and will hold a public hearing on May 16 … Continue Reading

CPSC Votes to Sue Britax Over B.O.B. Strollers

Last Friday, the CPSC voted to sue Britax Child Safety, Inc. to force the company to recall various models of single and double B.O.B. jogging strollers. The one-count administrative complaint alleges that the strollers present a substantial product hazard under Section 15(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act because they contain a product defect that … Continue Reading

Michaels Stores Inc. Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million CPSC Civil Penalty

Last week, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Michaels Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties to settle allegations that Michaels failed to file a timely report about a safety hazard associated with a large glass vase that Michaels sold. In 2015, DOJ filed a complaint on behalf of the … Continue Reading

New Vacancy at CPSC as Commissioner Joe Mohorovic Departs for Dentons

Last week, CPSC Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic, one of the two Republicans on the five-person Commission, announced that he would be ending his term as Commissioner two years early to join the Federal Regulatory and Compliance practice at the law firm Dentons.  His last day at the Commission was October 20.  Mr. Mohorovic became a Commissioner … Continue Reading

Trump To Nominate Competition-Focused Simons for FTC Chair, CP-Focused Chopra for Commissioner; Reports of Phillips for Additional Seat

After months of speculation among the consumer protection and antitrust bars, Trump announced today his intention to nominate former Director of the Bureau of Competition and current Paul Weiss partner Joseph Simons as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.  Trump also announced his plan to nominate Rohit Chopra, currently a senior fellow at the Consumer … Continue Reading

“OK, Google. Send a Letter to the CPSC.”: Privacy Groups Request Recall of Google Home Mini

Last Friday, ten consumer and privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and Consumer Watchdog, sent a letter to Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, requesting that the CPSC recall the Google Home Mini smart speaker. The speaker was designed to respond to the voice commands, “OK, Google” and “Hey, … Continue Reading

One More Step Forward: Senate Committee Approves Nomination of Ann Marie Buerkle as CPSC Chairman

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle’s nomination to become CPSC Chairman last Thursday in a 14-13 vote along party lines. She is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate, and would then be able to move forward with staff appointments. Buerkle has served as Acting Chairman since … Continue Reading

Getting Closer: Progress on Nominations for CPSC Chairman and Commissioner

Yesterday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Dana Baiocco as CPSC Commissioner. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would replace Commissioner Marietta Robinson when her term expires on October 27, and would serve a seven-year term. Ms. Baiocco would join Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic, and give the five-member Commission a republican majority … Continue Reading

Will the FTC’s Deception Evidence Fall Short? Court to Rule in DirecTV Case

U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. said Friday that the court would pause the trial to consider whether the FTC presented sufficient evidence to support its allegations that DirecTV misled consumers by failing to adequately disclose the terms of its two-year subscription and introductory pricing offer.  The judge instructed attorneys for DirecTV to file … Continue Reading

Comparison Pricing Victory for Ross Stores in California

On August 2, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit against Ross Stores that accused the discount retailer of misleading promotional pricing practices. The lawsuit stemmed from February and May 2015 purchases by the two lead plaintiffs of items bearing price tags with a selling … Continue Reading

Laura Brett Named New Director of NAD

More than a month after the retirement of former NAD Director Andrea Levine, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (“ASRC”) has announced NAD’s new Director: Laura Brett. Laura Brett, who has served as NAD’s Assistant Director since 2015, joined NAD in April of 2012. During her five years at NAD, Laura has authored several seminal decisions including … Continue Reading

CPSC Requests Feedback to Reduce Compliance Burdens

Have ideas to lighten the load for complying with consumer product safety regulations? The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) wants to hear about them.  The Commission has asked for comments and suggestions for ways it could potentially reduce burdens and costs of its existing rules, regulations or practices without harming consumers. CPSC requests … Continue Reading

CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle Emphasizes Collaboration, Balance, and Education

Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) Ann Marie Buerkle highlighted her priorities and recent noteworthy developments in a recent newsletter.  She emphasized her desire to collaborate with stakeholders, to take a “balanced and reasonable approach” to regulation when data justifies rulemaking, and to use information campaigns to educate consumers and industry. She shared … Continue Reading

Chairman Kaye Steps Down as CPSC Chair; Republican Buerkle Assumes Role of Acting Chair

Late Wednesday evening, Democrat Elliot Kaye resigned as chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Republican Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle has assumed the position of Acting Chair until a new chair is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Kaye will remain on the CPSC as a commissioner, with a term set to … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Changes at the Helm of the Bureau of Consumer Protection; Thomas Pahl to Take Over as Acting Bureau Director Following Jessica Rich’s Departure

Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission Maureen Ohlhausen announced today that Thomas Pahl – a current partner at Arnall Golden Gregory with significant experience at both the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – will take over as Acting Director on February 17.  Jessica Rich will depart as Director of the Bureau of … Continue Reading

New FTC Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen Offers Insight into Consumer Protection Priorities

Just over one week after being named acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Maureen Ohlhausen delivered the keynote address at the American Bar Association’s biennial Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta on February 2. During her remarks, acting chair Ohlhausen offered insight into consumer protection priorities during her tenure as acting chair. First, acting … Continue Reading

CPSC Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle Elected Vice Chair; CPSC under Regulatory Freeze

On January 19, 2017, Commissioners at the Consumer Product Safety Commission elected Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle to be the next vice chair.  Commissioner Buerkle was appointed to the agency by President Obama in May 2013 with a term expiring in October 2018.   As vice chair, Buerkle would become acting CPSC chair if that position is … Continue Reading

CPSC Issues Guidance to Encourage the Disclosure of Relevant Consumer Product Safety Information in Private Litigation

On November 29, 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published guidance for private litigants when drafting protective orders, confidentiality agreements, and settlement agreements in litigation related to consumer products within the CPSC’s jurisdiction.  The guidance encourages parties to include a provision in their protective order or settlement agreement that allows for disclosure of relevant … Continue Reading

What to Expect from the FTC

Our colleague Bill MacLeod, chair of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, and former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, penned the following blog post on what we might expect at the FTC under the new administration.  The post focuses on antitrust issues, but the anticipated short term outlook and transitions … Continue Reading

The Presidential, Senate and House Elections, Results and Policy Implications

Designed to serve as a comprehensive review of Tuesday’s elections, our guide analyzes the 2016 results and looks ahead to the 115th Congress with an in-depth review of upcoming changes to the House and Senate. The presentation further reviews key policy issues facing the President and the Congress, including tax, trade, healthcare, transportation and infrastructure, regulatory … Continue Reading

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
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