Posts Tagged ‘CPSC’

“Students Aren’t Allowed To Touch Real Rocks”

Lenore Skenazy at Forbes: “How the Consumer Product Safety Commission drives parents — and everyone else — crazy.” Besides the CPSIA rock-poster story of the headline (earlier), the CPSC has scared parents about not-very-terrifying Graco high chairs and Little Tykes workbenches, to say nothing of those McDonald’s Shrek glasses with traces of cadmium.

Related: the Federalist Society presents a podcast on CPSIA with CPSC commissioners Nancy Nord and Robert Adler; rules for making kids’ products recall the IRS code in complexity; the new public database of alleged product-related injuries, a la NHTSA’s, draws critical attention from manufacturers and CPSC commissioner Anne Northup; and the commission tackles the dangers of clacker balls.

July 13 roundup

  • Wal-Mart spending millions to fight $7,000 OSHA fine? Not so paradoxical when you think about it [Coyote]
  • Proliferation of product recalls, as with warnings, can result in consumer fatigue and inattention [WaPo via PoL]
  • Settlement said to be near between casino and gambler who lost $127 million [WSJ, UPI, earlier]
  • “Think Globally, Sue Locally: Out-of-Court Tactics Employed by Plaintiffs, Their Lawyers, and Their Advocates in Transnational Tort Cases” [study, PDF and press release; Jonathan Drimmer for US Chamber, related WSJ]
  • “End of an Era? Another Crunch Berries Case Dismissed” [Lowering the Bar, California Civil Justice, earlier on “froot” cases here, here, etc.]
  • New Jersey: “School legal costs are a killer” [Rayner, Daily Record]
  • ABA Journal profiles Ted Frank;
  • We’re the ones who write the laws around here, not you legislators: Washington Supreme Court strikes down med-mal notice law []

SawStop technology, cont’d

NPR covers a story we had in March following a $1.5 million jury award. The law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner says it is ginning up a campaign of product liability suits to demand that power tool makers be punished for not adopting the finger-protection technology. If that isn’t enough, Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Inez Tenenbaum says her agency may step in. What about leaving the decision to people who actually buy and use power saws, many of whom have said they have no wish to buy the expensive feature? Alas, that’s not how either the politics or the law work these days.

Capsized by CPSIA

Dallas entrepreneur Phebe Phillips tells in this speech (PDF) why she had to get out of her successful plush animal business:

Then in 2008 and 2009 the U.S. economy tanked … retail dwindled and a new toy regulation was enacted in response to the poor quality and mass quantity oversights by some really big toy companies. BadMrsGinger4bThis new law raises the testing price for each product and in some cases, doubles or triples the costs. For some small companies, it can cost one year of total revenue just to meet the requirements of this law. The law is for any product marketed to a child age twelve and under and for any product made anywhere…even here. It has frozen many small and midsize companies leaving the companies that caused the problems in the first place as some of the only companies that can afford to stay in business. Financially, it caused me to temporarily halt my business…I changed!

Via Amend the CPSIA, which had this report on Phillips in December; earlier on CPSIA and stuffed animals here and here.

Consumer Product Safety Commission member Anne Northup has also been blogging about some of the law’s ongoing damaging effects on sellers of dolls, kids’ furniture and apparel imports.

PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from Honor C. Appleton, The Bad Mrs. Ginger (Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1902), courtesy

Drop-side crib ban: a regulatory taking?

Reader Chaim Gordon, a Georgetown 2L and former clerk with the Institute for Justice, cc’d us on an excerpted email to call our attention to

… a potential rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or legislation by congress (S. 3400, H.R. 5386), see, e.g. (PDF), banning “the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use in public facilities of drop-side cribs.” As a parent, I feel violated (not really, because I own two such cribs already), and as a multiple-drop-side-crib-owner, I feel robbed.

I have been following this story for over a year now, and it seems to me that this rule/legislation is likely to implemented (I think that a rule is more likely than a bill). Originally, I thought that this ban was an effort by the crib manufacturers to reduce potential liability without losing market share by way of voluntary action. I now think that something more sinister is at work here. I now think that the manufacturers want to increase demand for their product by taking a large portion of the used-crib market/family-gift competition out of the picture. (Drop-side cribs used to comprise around 50% of the new crib market, and now, because of CPSC warnings and voluntary measures, that percentage has dropped to around 20%.) This of course comes at the expense of the innocent parents who may have been counting on selling their used cribs or giving their used cribs to family members (and at the expense of parents who will have to pay more for a used/new crib). Personally, I have never heard of a regulation that limited the rights of consumers to resell (or give away) their legitimately purchased, but now considered deficient, product (consider used cars without airbags).

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New at Point of Law

Things you’re missing if you’re not keeping up with my other site:

April 8 roundup

  • “Litigation nightmare” seen in Unvarnished, site that allows Yelp-like review of people’s reputations [L.A. Times, Balasubramani] Arkadelphia, Ark.: “16-year-old boy accuses mother of Facebook slander” [AP]
  • Inadvertent rape? At Duke, “perceived power differentials” might negate consent [Popehat, Joanne Jacobs]
  • New CPSC leadership signals policy of greatly stepped-up fines for CPSIA violators [Northup, Rick Woldenberg/Amend the CPSIA ($2 million Daiso fine) and more]
  • “PI Lawyer Pleads in $2.2M Client Theft, Will Get Between 3 and 9 Years” [ABA Journal, NY Daily News, earlier; Marc Bernstein of Bernstein & Bernstein, NYC]
  • Let’s say landlords who knowingly rent to accused criminals or released convicts can get sued for negligence in case of repeat offense. Then where do we propose that accused criminals and released convicts live? [Volokh]
  • Some theories on lawyer unpopularity [DeVoy, Legal Satyricon]
  • Privacy class action over ill-advised Facebook “Beacon” venture settles for… for what, exactly? [Popehat]
  • Wisconsin D.A. to teachers: if you obey state’s new sex-ed law, I’ll prosecute you [Radley Balko, Reason “Hit and Run”] More: Volokh.

March 26 roundup

  • Woman “discreetly” leaning over to use cellphone during movie says armrest smacked her on head, sues theater [Chicago Breaking News, Sun-Times] Plus: more links at ChicagoNow;
  • For a really cogent analysis of the effects of lawsuits over independent contractor classification, ask someone whose livelihood is at stake, like this Massachusetts stripper [Daily Caller]
  • Menaced by lawsuit, yanks a blog attacking a cancer therapist, then restores it [MWW]
  • Baby slings, cont’d: a CPSC recall, and already Sokolove and Lieff Cabraser are advertising [Stoll, more, earlier]
  • Law student’s suit demanding pass/fail grading in legal writing class results in “fail” [ABA Journal]
  • More details on new federal mandate for restaurant and vending machine calorie counts [update to earlier post]
  • “As suits pile up, plaintiff labeled ‘vexatious litigant'” [Virginian-Pilot]
  • Tweet a summary of your favorite Supreme Court case (& cc in comments below if you like) [Daniel Schwartz, hashtag #cbftech, what others have done]