CPSC and Enhanced Enforcement Capabilities

Posted on April 4, 2012 01:56 by Kenneth Ross

The CPSC has enhanced enforcement capabilities and potential fines have significantly increased.  Also, the CPSC commissioners are expecting for there to be more fines and bigger fines for late reporting.  As a result, manufacturers and product sellers need to be more diligent in post-sale surveillance, investigation, and analysis of incidents and litigation to identify potentially reportable situations.    

Also, consumers and other entities can post product safety issues on a public database that is accessible to everyone.  There have been thousands of postings since the database’s inception. 

These issues and other regulatory issues can adversely affect a manufacturer and retailer and result in civil penalties, unnecessary recalls, bad publicity, and cause an increase in the number and severity of product liability claims and litigation.   

Be sure to attend the Consumer Goods SLG Program on Wednesday, April 11th at the DRI Products Liability Conference in Las Vegas to hear from 3 experienced CPSC practitioners about this and other exciting consumer goods topics.   

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Governmental Product Safety Activities

Posted on November 17, 2009 04:39 by Kenneth Ross

There has been a flurry of activity by U.S. and foreign governments in connection with product safety regulations. These will impact product liability litigation filed in the U.S. and possibly in foreign countries.

The CPSC has issued many documents within the last few weeks. Many of them deal with third party testing and certification requirements which currently exist and new ones which will come into force in February 2010. These will severely affect some manufacturers and importers and many retailers.

In addition, the CPSC issued an implementation report on its new public database which will eventually result in the posting of consumer incident reports on the CPSC website. The CPSC held a public hearing on this new database yesterday.

Canada's Parliament is considering adoption of a new law which will strengthen the government's ability to mandate recalls and regulate safety. It is expected to pass sometime in the near future.

One result is that Health Canada will be cooperating more closely with the CPSC. Last week, the CPSC and Health Canada issued a joint press release for a recall of a product in the U.S. and Canada.

Other countries are getting into the act. Recall effectiveness is a hot topic in the U.S. and around the world. Recent activities in this area are summarized in my recent PLP article in Strictly Speaking, the Product Liability Committee's newsletter (see attached).

In addition, non-governmental groups are developing recall programs which enhance effectiveness (see
http://www.gs1ca.org/). Manufacturers will need to consider all of these activities as they try to establish recall programs that will be considered "state of the art." An inadequate recall can be extremely hard to defend in any product liability lawsuit.

DRI Recall Fall 2009_10.3.09_.pdf (42.82 kb)

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Categories: Product Liability

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