Craft retailer Michaels pays $1.5M for shattering vases
February 13, 2018, Washington Times
Nationwide craft retailer Michaels Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations it failed to make a timely report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that large glass vases it sold shattered in customers’ hands. The Department of Justice announced the settlement. In 2015, Michaels was sued by the Department of Justice and CPSC. The lawsuit alleged the retailer did not report safety issues with the vases until February 2010, despite being aware of one injury in 2007 and four more in 2009.

CPSC Sues Britax Over Hazardous Jogging Strollers; Action Prompted by Ongoing Harm to Children and Adults from Stroller Wheel Detachment
February 16, 2018, cpsc.gov
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint against Britax Child Safety, Inc., alleging that certain models of their B.O.B. jogging strollers (“strollers”) contain defects in their design which present a substantial product hazard. The complaint charges that consumers reported stroller wheel detachments resulting in injuries to children and adults. Children have suffered injuries including a concussion, injuries to the head and face requiring stitches, dental injuries, contusions and abrasions.

Managing product recalls: what to do during a recall
February 13, 2018, National Law Review (Schiff Hardin)
It is important to note that companies are required to report potential defects and safety hazards even if they do not believe the situation warrants a recall. CPSC has made clear that it is the agency’s job, not that of the company, to ultimately decide if a recall is warranted, and CPSC cannot make that determination if it is not made aware of the situation. The majority of Section 15 reports do not actually result in recalls, meaning that it is often prudent to err on the side of reporting and explaining in the report why the company does not believe a recall is warranted under the circumstances.

How the CPSC works with importers and exporters
Most consumer products under CPSC’s jurisdiction are imported. CPSC works internationally on the development and alignment of consumer product safety requirements, inspection and enforcement coordination as well as consumer education and information dissemination.

Crisis recovery case study: Samsung 18 months on from the explosive S7 Note
February 16, 2018, Continuity Center
In August 2016 Samsung released their much anticipated new ‘big phone’ – the S7 Note. The S7 Note had a lot to live up to, namely competition from its rivals and the success of its older sibling the S5 Note, which was widely regarded as the best Android phone of its generation. After further mishaps, the company began more serious effort to revamp its risk reduction processes and seems to be bouncing back.

Are You in Compliance with Forthcoming Critical Revisions to California Consumer Product Regulations?
February 15, 2018, Los Angeles Business Journal
It is critical for all manufacturers, distributors and retailers selling products into California to evaluate their product lines for compliance determination because on August 30, 2018, new California regulations go into effect that will impact warning requirements for such products. Virtually any company that sells or distributes consumer products in California will need to assess possible compliance with the new regulations.

Emissions from deodorant, bug-spray and other household products may rival that of cars and trucks
February 15, 2018, scpr.org
Air freshener. Shaving cream. Bug spray. Nearly everything under your sink or in your medicine cabinet is a source of air pollution. Scientists and regulators have known this for years, but a new study from UC Davis and the University of Colorado concludes that consumer products are bigger polluters than realized.

California lawmaker wants to stop Facebook from sharing children’s information without clear consent from their parents
February 15, 2018, Los Angeles Times
A Southern California legislator wants Facebook and other social media sites to obtain clear permission from parents before allowing children and teens to use their services. Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) says an increasing number of websites and apps are collecting personal information and content from young users that can be used to market brands and products. But the consent agreements that make these practices possible are often buried in general terms and conditions for use of service, and companies often allow minors to sign up with no more than a promise that they have asked their parents for permission.

Guest Column: Low-income families who need safe cribs have nowhere to go
February 15, 2018, Tapinto.net
Over the past six years, “Keeping Babies Safe” (KBS) has been providing free cribs, mattresses and other supplies to low-income families, hospitals and charities as part of our “Project Safe Crib.” Over 8,000 families have been served. This year, however, the organization lost foundation support and is seeking support elsewhere.

Eaton announces cyber security collaboration with UL
February 16, 2018, automation.com
Power management company Eaton announced that it is collaborating with global safety science organization UL to advance cyber security for power management technologies across industries. The collaboration is helping to establish measurable cyber security criteria for network-connected power management products and systems.

Opinion: State legislatures tackle toxic chemicals as Pruitt EPA falters
February 13, 2018, saferchemicals.org
State legislatures across the country are stepping up to protect public health from harmful chemicals in an effort to fill gaps in chemical protections due to inaction by the US EPA, according to an analysis of state policies by Safer States. The analysis found that at least 23 states will consider 112 policies to limit exposures to toxic chemicals, including bans on nonstick PFAS chemicals and toxic flame retardants.

To help firms meet CPSC’s expectations, minimize the risk of being pursued for civil penalties, and reduce any future liability, we must look both at the law and the CPSC’s penalty practice for more practical insights.
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