In a rare move, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue and potentially litigate a civil penalty matter. In an even rarer move, the CPSC has publicly disclosed the request. Acting Chairperson Bob Adler has released a statement announcing that the Commission has voted – on a bipartisan basis – to refer a case to the DOJ, and although his statement does not identify the targeted company, its industry, or even the nature of the possible violation, the vote and announcement are certain to raise eyebrows across the CPSC-regulated community.
Continue Reading Rare CPSC Penalty Referral to Department of Justice May Signal a More Aggressive Agency in the Biden Era

Businesses across the country are facing challenges, including lawsuits, as they grapple with how COVID-19 has impacted their operations, work forces, and supply chains. The wave of litigation is rising, and it appears that no industry is immune. Schiff Hardin’s Coronavirus Task Force is publishing this series to identify of-the-moment issues and potential liabilities facing businesses as they begin to re-open, transform their processes, and adapt to the new reality.

As businesses start to reopen across the country, customer-facing companies should consider best practices to reduce the risks of customer and employee exposure to the novel coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19. The right approach will differ based on the type of business, the state and local government guidelines and orders in place, and the geographic region in which the business operates. A hair salon in New York City, for example, will need to take different precautions than an outdoor nursery in Anchorage. Companies should develop a thoughtful plan to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus at a business given the ever-evolving scientific understanding of the disease. Here are five ideas that businesses can use to help ensure that their customers and employees remain safe.
Continue Reading Five Approaches to Keep Customers and Employees Safe When Reopening

UPDATE: Dr. Nancy Beck, nominated in March to be both a commissioner at and chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), will go before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, June 16. If confirmed by the full Senate, Dr. Beck’s term would run through October of 2025. Her confirmation would also shift the CPSC from a 2-2 partisan balance under Acting Chairman Bob Adler, a Democrat, to a 3-2 Republican majority.

As we speculated late last year, the White House has announced that President Trump intends to nominate Dr. Nancy Beck to both the open seat on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the chairmanship of the agency. If Dr. Beck is confirmed, the CPSC would be back to its full five-commissioner strength. Dr. Beck’s confirmation would also shift both the day-to-day management of the agency and its partisan balance, ending both current Acting Chair Bob Adler’s (D) tenure and its 2-2 party split.
Continue Reading A New Face at the CPSC? White House to Nominate Dr. Nancy Beck as Chair