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Category Archives: CPSC Enforcement Actions

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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

Massive CPSC Recall Leaked to the Press by “CPSC Source” Prior to Official Agency Announcement

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

Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) and Health Canada announced a massive joint recall with IKEA involving over 35 million pieces of furniture that can pose a tip over hazard to small children. While we would normally write about the recall itself, a troubling development has caught our attention.  A CPSC employee prematurely… 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

CPSC Chairman Vows that Every CPSC Voluntary Corrective Action Will Be Called a “Recall”

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Voluntary Recalls

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye announced in a meeting with consumer advocates that the agency will never again allow a company conducting a voluntary corrective action to call it anything other than a “recall.”  Last year, after the announcement of a joint CPSC-IKEA “repair program” to address a furniture tip-over hazard… 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

Tenth Circuit Stays April 1 Effective Date of CPSC’s Magnets Safety Rule

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

Over the past year, we have blogged about the CPSC’s rulemaking process to regulate high-powered magnet sets via a safety standard as well as the administrative complaints brought by the agency to force multiple companies (e.g., Buckyballs and Zen Magnets) to recall certain magnetic products deemed to be defective by CPSC staff. In a major development… Continue Reading

CPSC and E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Ink Deal to Block Sale of Recalled Products to U.S. Consumers

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Enforcement Actions, CPSC Product Recalls, Voluntary Recalls

Following an ABC 20/20 investigative story where CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye called Craigslist’s failure to block the sale of recalled products “morally irresponsible,” the agency announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group (“Alibaba”) to stop the sale of products recalled by the CPSC to U.S. consumers…. 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

CPSC Announces Largest Civil Penalty to Date for Alleged Failure to Timely Report

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Enforcement Actions, Importer Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety

On October 28, 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Baja Inc., and its corporate affiliate, One World Technologies Inc., of Anderson, S.C., agreed to pay a $4.3 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it knowingly failed to immediately report certain defects and an unreasonable risk of serious injury involving some… Continue Reading

Battle of the Experts Still Brewin’ in Starbucks Trial

Posted in CPSC Enforcement Actions, Distributors, Federal Regulations, Food and Beverage, Importer Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Prop 65, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations

In April 2010, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) sued Starbucks Corp. and other coffee sellers alleging they violated California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by California voters in 1986 as Proposition 65, by failing to warn consumers about carcinogens in their products as required under the act.  In July 2013, Los… Continue Reading

GAO Releases Report on CPSC Response to New and Emerging Hazards

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Regulations, Importer Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, U.S. Congress

On October 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report entitled “Consumer Product Safety Commission: Challenges and Options for Responding to New and Emerging Risks.”  The report analyzes the timeliness of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) response to “new and emerging” safety risks from new or existing consumer products.  It is based upon… Continue Reading

Operation Full Disclosure! FTC’s Frontal Assault on Ads

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, CPSC Enforcement Actions, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

In this blog we often discuss products being subjected to a lawsuit based on allegations that a label is false or misleading under California’s consumer protection laws.  The Federal Trade Commission is similarly concerned with the prevention of false and misleading claims, but its focus is also on the product’s advertising, not just its labeling. Recently,… Continue Reading