Amid the holiday cheer this year, you may have noticed longer shipping times and more items out of stock, even as you’ve ordered more online than in the past. Businesses and consumers alike have learned over the past 21 months that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to supply chain bottlenecks and hampered delivery times. Companies often have no control over these delays, but a recent $950,000 settlement between the State of California and Yeezy Apparel LLC/Yeezy LC (Yeezy) — an apparel and shoe company owned by Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) — highlights the need for businesses to plan ahead and remain vigilant when promising swift delivery of products. Most importantly, internet retailers must work with manufacturing and shipping partners and ensure that websites and confirmation emails accurately convey information. The Yeezy case provides a cautionary tale for businesses that may promise quick delivery of products that consumers purchase online.
Continue Reading Yeezy Settlement Highlights Potential Pitfalls of Shipping Delays Amid the Pandemic

Over the last few months, you may have seen more e-scooters on the streets as people have felt safer returning to schools and to the office, and have been gathering more frequently with family and friends. E-scooters have many potential benefits: they help alleviate traffic and city congestion by getting gas-powered vehicles off the streets for short trips; they allow people without personal vehicles to work and to access resources beyond their typical geographical limitations; and, amidst environmental concerns, they have become a transportation alternative that reduces air pollution and noise exposure.
Continue Reading Rising Regulations as E-Scooters Continue to Hit the Streets

Two cases decided 25 years apart, but there were some facts in common: a hot drink, a consumer alleging that she was burned by the drink, and a lawsuit. These are the facts of the 1994 case Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants that resulted in an award of millions to the consumer, but also the facts from Shih v. Starbucks, a case decided last year. In Shih, however, the court found in favor of the product supplier. What’s different about these cases? The answer: how the courts interpreted proximate cause.
Continue Reading The Hot Coffee Case Revisited: Has Proximate Cause Changed in the 25 Years Since Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers of cleaning products may want to examine what their marketing says (or doesn’t say) about their products’ ability to disinfect. What manufacturers should note: Plaintiffs’ lawyers are filing an increasing number of false advertising claims alleging that cleaning and sanitizing products do not do what they purport to do. While plaintiffs must still satisfy the existing legal standards for false advertising claims, these claims may lead some manufacturers to consider adjusting their marketing strategies.
Continue Reading How COVID Has Changed False Advertising Rules

After a very difficult 2020, rapid vaccine development has sparked optimism among the public and in the business community. But as we wrote last week, there’s a long road ahead while infections remain high. Today we look at considerations for a new transition period – vaccines becoming more widely available, but before the country achieves herd immunity.
Continue Reading How Companies Can Approach Wider Availability of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Coming Months

As COVID-19 cases have spiked across the country, many businesses have adjusted certain operations with an eye on customer and employee safety, as well as to ensure compliance with recent changes to government orders. Some businesses have faced challenges that they have not seen since last spring. Over the summer, we explained some ways companies could prepare for a potential winter resurgence of the virus. Today we consider how companies may wish to proceed as average daily death totals in the U.S. remain high.
Continue Reading Business Considerations in Light of Increases in COVID-19 Cases

We are delighted to share that this blog has received a 2020 “Go-To Thought Leadership Award” by the National Law Review for providing relevant analysis, knowledge, and thorough coverage of product liability and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforcement issues.

Continue Reading Schiff Recognized as “Go-To Thought Leader” on Product Liability Issues

Over the last few years, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has moved slowly in its rulemaking efforts to address tip-overs of dressers. Without a final rule, the agency has sought to use other methods to address dresser incidents, specifically its authority to investigate potentially hazardous products and its ability to request – and even compel – recalls. The agency’s process has been straightforward: It has obtained samples of countless brands and models of dressers, tested them against the relevant voluntary standard, and, where testing suggested the samples did not meet the standard, sent letters requesting recalls.
Continue Reading Regulation-by-Enforcement: CPSC Targets Adult Portable Bed Rail Industry Company-by-Company

From apparel companies that have shifted from making clothing to making face masks, to distilleries and breweries that are now producing hand sanitizer, to consumer goods and auto makers manufacturing ventilators and respirators, manufacturers nationwide have shifted their production lines to meet what consumers need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Retooling in the Midst of COVID-19: Statutory Protections for Manufacturers