Consumer Product Safety
The firm has a leading practice in matters before the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Our team, which includes a former CPSC General Counsel and a former CPSC staff attorney, assists clients in matters covering the spectrum of CPSC actions—recalls, enforcement actions, and regulatory matters—as well as in litigation that can arise from product safety matters. The core team has a combined total of approximately 50 years of experience on CPSC matters, both from within the Commission and as counsel to companies.
Significant Representative Matters:
- Avoiding Unnecessary Recalls. We regularly represent companies in meeting their reporting obligations to CPSC and demonstrating that a recall is not warranted.
- Recall Implementation. We regularly assist clients in implementing voluntary recalls, covering a wide variety of products such as household appliances, home furnishings, light fixtures, building materials, electronic equipment, lithium-ion batteries, furniture, toys, recreational equipment, and cigarette lighters—including worldwide recalls in which notification of regulatory authorities internationally is coordinated with the announcement of the recall in the US. We do so cost-effectively, in a manner that helps our clients protect consumers, minimize business disruption, and reduce potential exposure in product liability and consumer protection act lawsuits.
- Defending Penalty Investigations. We have defended numerous CPSC penalty investigations for late reporting, post-recall sales and regulatory violations, many of which have resulted in no penalties against our clients.
- Enhancing Internal Controls. We assist manufacturers and retailers in enhancing their internal controls to help ensure compliance with CPSC notification requirements and mandatory standards, and to prevent the distribution of recalled products in violation of the CPSA.
- Product Development. We work with clients before a product is marketed to help ensure that the product not only complies with applicable standards, but also to benchmark against existing products and to conduct failure analyses when appropriate to address potential problems before they arise.
- Commercial Disputes. We represent clients in up-stream and down-stream commercial disputes arising out of product safety issues.
In addition, our CPSC team recently published a Desk Reference for Section 15 of the CPSA, which addresses in detail CPSC notification requirements, recalls and enforcement actions. The Desk Reference is available on the A&P website at https://www.arnoldporter.com/~/media/files/perspectives/publications/2018/03/cpsc-deskbook_march2018.pdf.