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Category Archives: CPSC Civil Penalties

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BREAKING: COURT RULES POSITIVELY FOR CPSC IN FEDERAL CIVIL PENALTY CASE AGAINST SPECTRUM BRANDS

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Federal Regulations, Litigation

We do not get many court decisions in the CPSC world, but yesterday we received one.  Last evening, a Wisconsin federal district court essentially held in the Government’s case against Spectrum Brands, Inc. (Spectrum) that (1) Spectrum failed to timely report defective coffee pots in violation of Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act… Continue Reading

CPSC Sends Another Shot Across the Bow of Retailers with $3.8 Million Civil Penalty Against Best Buy for the Sale of Recalled Products

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

On Tuesday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Best Buy Co., Inc. entered into a settlement agreement with the CPSC to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that it “knowingly sold, offered for sale, and distributed in commerce recalled consumer products.”  This civil penalty is significant because the alleged… Continue Reading

CPSC Chairman Kaye and Commissioner Adler: Current Civil Penalties Approach Works

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Litigation, U.S. Congress

Yesterday, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Robert Adler issued a lengthy joint statement vigorously defending the Commission’s current approach to civil penalties against various criticisms voiced by Commissioners Joe Mohorovic and Ann Marie Buerkle as well as stakeholders in the business community.  Their overarching message: such criticisms are without merit and are, in reality, a call for lesser penalties; there will be no change… Continue Reading

Chuck Samuels, Mintz’s Product Safety Regulatory Co-Chair, Provides Testimony to CPSC at Annual Priorities Hearing

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties

On June 15, Chuck Samuels, Co-Chair of Mintz Levin’s Consumer Product Safety Regulatory Practice Group, provided testimony to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) at the Commission’s Meeting on its Agenda and Priorities for FY 2017 and 2018.  Chuck’s testimony focused on the Commission’s increasing imposition of heightened civil penalties for alleged violations of… Continue Reading

CPSC Civil Penalties: A Divide Along Party Lines

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, U.S. Congress

This article originally appeared on Law360 on June 14, 2016 and provides additional analysis to our prior posts on civil penalties. This past March, while speaking at a Consumer Federation of America luncheon, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye stated that he “was pleased to announce” that the agency had secured a $15.45 million civil penalty. Commissioner Joe Mohorovic,… Continue Reading

CPSC Reaches Second Civil Penalty Agreement in As Many Weeks; Sunbeam Products to Pay $4.5 Million to Resolve Late Reporting Allegations

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Litigation

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is set to announce yet another civil penalty settlement.  Sunbeam Products d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions (Sunbeam or the Company) has agreed to pay a $4.5 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report certain defects and an unreasonably risk of serious injury involving… Continue Reading

CPSC Announces Civil Penalty against Teavana; Commissioners Remain Divided on Civil Penalty Enforcement, Calculations, and Transparency

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, U.S. Congress

On May 26, 2016 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced through a Record of Commission Action (“RCA”) that Teavana Corporation (“Teavana”) has agreed to pay a $3.75 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report that certain glass tea tumblers could “explode, shatter or break during normal use.” … Continue Reading

When Does A CPSC Late Reporting Violation First Accrue?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Litigation, Product Liability

This article originally appeared on Law360 on May 12, 2016 and provides additional analysis to our prior post on this subject. After filing a Section 15(b) report and conducting a recall with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), companies frequently ponder whether the CPSC believes the company timely filed its report under Section 15(b) of… Continue Reading

What is CPSC’s Statute of Limitations for Civil Penalties? That’s a Gabelli Question

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety

After filing a Section 15(b) report and conducting a recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), it is not uncommon for a company to wonder whether it timely filed its report under the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). A question sometimes asked of us is how much time must pass before the company can… Continue Reading

Zen Magnets Claims “90% Victory” Against CPSC in Magnet Recall Litigation

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, CPSC Product Recals, Federal Regulations, Litigation, Voluntary Recalls

On March 25, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Dean Metry found that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) case counsel did not prove that high powered, small rare earth magnets (“SREMs”) (1) are defective as sold by Zen Magnets (“Zen”); and (2) constitute a substantial product hazard when sold with appropriate warnings, including proper age recommendations (click… Continue Reading

Breaking: CPSC Obtains Record $15.45 Million Civil Penalty in Settlement Agreement with Gree

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Litigation

This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has obtained a record-breaking $15.45 million civil penalty in a settlement agreement with Gree Electric Appliances of China, Hong Kong Gree Electric Appliances Sales Co. of Hong Kong, and Gree USA Sales of California (Gree) over dehumidifiers sold under 13 different brand names. … Continue Reading

Federal Court Makes No Exceptions for “Commodity Products” and Orders Zen Magnets to Stop Selling Previously Recalled Magnets

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, CPSC Product Recals, Distributors, Litigation, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Recalls

There have been many twists and turns over the past four years concerning the CPSC’s regulation of certain high powered, rare-earth magnet sets and its litigation against various entities selling these magnets.  In the latest chapter of the magnets saga, a federal court in Colorado has permanently enjoined Zen Magnets (Zen) from selling magnets purchased… Continue Reading

CPSC & DOJ Stop Two Companies from Future Importation of Children’s Products with Far-Reaching Consent Decrees

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Importer Safety, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”)—at the behest of the CPSC—filed suit in California federal court against two companies and three individuals for importing products that violate the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (“FHSA”) and Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). The respective lawsuits can be accessed here and here. The individuals and companies—Brightstar… Continue Reading

CPSC Suspends Over 90% of $3.5 Million Civil Penalty Due to Company’s Inability to Pay; phil&teds USA to Pay $200,000

Posted in Children's Products, Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Litigation

At the very beginning of this year, we wrote that we expected the CPSC to remain active in bringing enforcement actions against companies for violations of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). About one month later, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye remarked at a product safety conference (ICPHSO 2015) that he was directing staff to seek… Continue Reading

CPSC Files Suit for Second Time in Three Months against a Company for Alleged Failure to Timely Report Defective Product

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, Product Liability

On Wednesday of last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that a complaint has been filed in federal court against Spectrum Brands, Inc. (Spectrum).  Notably, this is the second case in the past three months brought by the government in federal court against a company for an alleged… Continue Reading

CPSC & DOJ Sue Michaels Stores for Failing to Report Product Safety Hazard and Filing Misleading Information

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety

For the first time in recent memory, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jointly announced the filing of a lawsuit in federal court for the imposition of a civil penalty and injunctive relief for violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The lawsuit is against arts and crafts retailer… Continue Reading

New Year Brings CPSC Civil Penalty for Axe Manufacturer

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety

On January 5, 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Gerber Legendary Blades, a division of Fiskars Brands Inc., has agreed to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report to the CPSC a safety hazard associated with its Gator Combo Axe.  Notably, the… Continue Reading

November Elections Impact the Food & Beverage Industry (Part 1)

Posted in CPSC Civil Penalties, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, State Regulations, Uncategorized

Bids to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) were voted down in Colorado and Oregon on Tuesday.  Colorado voters rejected Proposition 105, with nearly 70% of voters saying no; while Oregon voters rejected Measure 92, with only 50.9% against the initiative, and 49.1% in favor of it.  As we have blogged… Continue Reading

Guilty Convictions in Salmonella Trial May Signify Landmark in Criminal Food-Safety Prosecutions

Posted in CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Uncategorized

This space has thoroughly explored the various forms of civil liability food companies face for the mislabeling and/or deceptive marketing of their products.  Last week, a set of landmark convictions in a criminal food-safety prosecution potentially signal increased criminal liability for food companies when matters of public health and safety are at play… On Friday, September 19, 2014, a federal… Continue Reading

Do Not Pass Go: Federal Judge Orders Execs Jailed for Contempt of Recall Order

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Uncategorized

A recent federal decision has made clear that court-ordered recalls can have real teeth, not just for manufacturers but also their officers—especially when the court has reason to suspect a company’s execs are deliberately dragging their feet. On Tuesday, September 2, the Northern District of Georgia held the CEO and a senior vice president of Hi-Tech… Continue Reading

Are Airbnb Hosts Regulated by the CPSC? Short-Term Rental Properties May Require Compliance with Pool & Spa Safety Laws

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, U.S. Congress

In the wake of the tragic drowning of Virginia Graeme Baker, the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The legislation was sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and it mandates safety requirements for pool drainage… Continue Reading

Will Feds Step Onto the GMO Playing Field?

Posted in CPSC Civil Penalties, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations

In January and April, this space took a look at the growing patchwork of state proposals for regulating the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). As posited here in April, the recent surge in such bills raises a serious question as to whether any individual state—especially one, like Vermont, that accounts for less than 0.01%… Continue Reading

Vermont Goes GMO Alone

Posted in CPSC Civil Penalties, Food and Beverage, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Regulations

In January, this space discussed the Maine and Connecticut laws that would require labeling for foods made with genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs). Each of the bills had a trigger qualification: 4 other states, or states with a combined population of 20 million, had to adopt similar measures. In the spirit of the bandits in The Treasure… Continue Reading

CPSC Announces Forman Mills Civil Penalty and Compliance Program

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Civil Penalties, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Litigation, Retailer Product Safety

For the first time in nearly a year, a unanimous U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that a company will pay a hefty civil penalty and enact a strict compliance program to resolve allegations regarding its reporting practices.  This announcement comes almost one year after three similarly structured civil penalties were levied by the… Continue Reading