Category Archives: Consumer Products

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Spinning Out of Control? Fidget Spinner Regulation and Safety

A spinner toy being spun in hand.Children of all ages—and many adults—can’t keep their hands off fidget spinners, the best-selling toys of the spring and one of hottest new fad toys on the market. Schools in some states have banned them, while others find them helpful for children with attention-related difficulties. Predictably, fidget spinner manufacturers and distributors are feeling the heat … Continue Reading

Talc Talk – One of These Things (Verdicts) Is Not Like the Others

The United States Supreme Court; copy space.We’ve been following a series of cases filed against Johnson & Johnson by plaintiffs alleging that using talc caused ovarian cancer. Since 2009, over 2000 cases have been filed, mostly in Missouri, New Jersey, and California. Missouri has seen four trials: the first three resulted in plaintiffs’ verdicts, but the fourth and most recent resulted in … Continue Reading

Where Does Your Smartphone End and Your Car Begin?

GettyImages-514223022Consider the world today: Smartphone manufacturers have already introduced vehicle infotainment systems in automobiles. Vehicle safety technology may be next. A recent safety proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) raises intriguing questions about how our smartphones and automobiles may interface. The proposal may encourage smartphone manufacturers to add vehicle safety technology to their … Continue Reading

The Troubling Increase in CPSC Penalties

GettyImages-636789330In an updated statistical analysis, Schiff Hardin’s Jonathan Judge examines how penalties handed down by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have abruptly veered upward over the last two years following the threat of CPSC’s then-Chairman Elliot Kaye, to do just that. These findings support our post last fall signaling higher civil penalties to come.… Continue Reading

When Santa Brings a Dud

Christmas stocking - boy dissatisfied with christmas presentMost holiday seasons, an “it” toy stands at the top of children’s wish lists. With this instant rise in popularity frequently comes a corresponding rise in consumer complaints. Years ago, the consumer complaints might get some media attention—but that attention usually focused on the consumer competition to acquire the demand-exceeds-supply product. Now, people turn to … Continue Reading

Made in the USA (For the Most Part)

Note: This image is focused on the letters "USA." Something rare to see these days... MADE IN USA. Rough, gritty texture. Perfect background for print piece about jobs, out-sourcing, industry, loss of manufacturing factories and skills. Shallow-depth-of field with focus on "USA" for specific emphasis. See also these similar shots...Newspaper headlines report a new economic trend—manufacturing is returning to the United States. The country’s industrial production grew by 0.7 percent in July, its biggest jump since November 2014. This number represents everything made by factories, mines, and utilities. Before companies start slapping “Made in the USA” labels on their wares, they need to make sure they … Continue Reading

CPSC Chairman Attempts To Bridge The Divide, Signaling That Higher CPSC Civil Penalties Are Here To Stay

Gavel laying on top of us money.Airing dirty laundry. The CPSC has made public its internal dispute over civil penalties. On July 20, 2016, Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Robert Adler issued a joint statement addressing the diverging views among the CPSC commissioners over the agency’s recent settlements. The joint statement responded to other commissioners who had … Continue Reading

Let’s Talc About Baby Powder

spilled baby powder on black backgroundTalc—the softest mineral on earth—historically had been a key ingredient in baby powder. Because baby powder is a cosmetic product, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate it. But talc has faced recent legal challenges by long-time baby powder users, alleging that talc may have caused ovarian cancer.… Continue Reading

FDA Extends Regulation of Tobacco Products to E-Cigarettes

iStock_000063364403_MediumThe FDA soon will regulate e-cigarette makers and distributors. The rules present new hurdles for manufacturers of existing e-cigarette products as well as future products. The new “deeming regulations” restrict youth access to e-cigarettes and extend certain regulations that apply to traditional tobacco products to e-cigarettes. On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug … Continue Reading

Government Turf: Will the CPSC Investigate Rubber Infill?

99937843Calls for a government-led investigation of the potential negative health effects of crumb rubber turf are getting louder, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is listening. Crumb rubber turf infill consists of black pellets of ground-up rubber, and it’s become increasingly popular in the construction of sports fields. Some are concerned, however, that crumb rubber turf … Continue Reading

Oh What Fun It Is To Ride . . . A Hoverboard? This Year’s Must-Have Holiday Gift Poses Potential Litigation Risks for Manufacturers

sb10063680d-001In 1989, the Back to the Future franchise made several fanciful predictions about 2015.  One prediction may now be coming true: hoverboards have hit the streets — sort of.  The currently-available hoverboards, as opposed to the Hollywood fantasy ones, are more properly described as hands-free, self-balancing scooters.  Fueled by viral videos and celebrity social media … Continue Reading

Trial Victory for Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc.

iStock_000008525061_LargeOn November 10, 2015, a Charleston, West Virginia jury returned a unanimous verdict for defendant Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., finding the company’s High Rise booster seat to be neither defective nor responsible for the death of a four-year-old child. Tragically, the child died from injuries sustained in a horrific, multiple-rollover accident that occurred on a … Continue Reading

Peanut Butter Pick-Me-Up

iStock_000014645464_LargeSenator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is again voicing concern about caffeinated foods. The latest in caffeine-laden food trends is a new caffeinated peanut butter which boasts the equivalent of two cups of coffee in two tablespoons of peanut butter. In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Senator Schumer urged the agency to investigate … Continue Reading

A Meaty Issue: Do Red and Processed Meats Cause Cancer?

480857177Hot dogs, sausages, and corned beef now have something in common with asbestos, benzene, and ionizing radiation.  They are in the same class of cancer-causing substances, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  The organization’s October 26, 2015 press release states that a group of … Continue Reading

Monitoring Your Personal Environment with Wearable Technology

iStock_000018276480_Medium“The dose makes the poison” is a maxim of toxicology. The phrase is attributed to Paracelsus, a true Renaissance Man and founder of the field who lived more than 500 years ago, long before the industrial, chemical/pharmaceutical, and technological revolutions.   In today’s society, we are exposed to various chemical substances on a daily basis. Some … Continue Reading

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS): Fad Allergy, Debilitating Disease, or What?

Gsm Antenna TransmitterLess than 1% of the population suffers from the serious gluten allergy known as celiac disease. Yet every time this writer goes out to dinner at least one dining companion passes on bread and pasta, claiming a self-diagnosed “gluten sensitivity” that manifests as a collection of nondescript symptoms, the major one being “fatigue.” The odd … Continue Reading

What Happens When Hacking Hits the Road?

164355317Last month, Wired reported that researchers hacked the dashboard entertainment system of a vehicle being driven on public streets. Once they had access, they used that entry point to remotely control vehicle systems through the onboard diagnostics port. The researchers warned that they could have easily hacked hundreds of thousands of vulnerable vehicles traveling the world’s highways. … Continue Reading

CPSC Engages in Productive Discussion Following PL&MT Blog Post on Fast Track Program

460831471The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has responded to the June 27, 2015 PL&MT Blog’s post Falling off the Fast Track: CPSC’s New “Stop Sale” Demand by Jonathan Judge.  The post was republished by the National Law Review and the CPSC’s comments can be found here.  The back-and-forth is very productive and enlightening.  This post contains … Continue Reading

Falling off the Fast Track: CPSC’s new “Stop Sale” Demand

459905183When a company sells a consumer product that poses a potential hazard to consumers, federal law requires that a report be filed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b). Companies who fail to do so risk severe civil penalties. After the company’s report has been filed, the CPSC offers companies … Continue Reading
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