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Category Archives: Retailer Product Safety

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Counterfeit Products Are Often Unsafe Products – More Reasons to Aggressively Police Infringement of Your Trademarks and Trade Dress

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

Our colleagues in Mintz Levin’s Intellectual Property Practice, Aarti Shah and James Wodarski, recently authored an expert analysis piece in Law360 that examined the use of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to combat a rising tide of counterfeits and knockoffs in all kinds of consumer product industries.  Aarti tells us that, in addition to the… 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

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

A Decade Later, Rules for the Sanitary Transportation of Food Finally Finalized by FDA

Posted in Distributors, Federal Regulations, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

Last week, FDA finalized new food safety regulations seeking to ensure the sanitary transport of human and animal food, as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule will affect shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers of food transported by rail or motor vehicle in the… Continue Reading

The Future of Hoverboards: Federal Safety Standard or Voluntary Safety Standard?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Standards

Over recent weeks, national media outlets have reported extensively on multiple claims from consumers that hoverboards—self-balancing scooters growing immensely in popularity, particularly over the holiday period—have caught fire.  Much of the focus of these claims has been related to the overheating of the hoverboards’ lithium ion batteries.  In the wake of these reports, major airlines… Continue Reading

Hidden Costs of Common Beauty Treatments?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Drugs & Cosmetics, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Class Actions, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws

The “toxic trio” is a foreboding name some associate with common and seemingly innocuous manicures and pedicures. Salon workers suffer higher-than-average rates of birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, and skin afflictions stemming from their daily use of nail products, many of which contain potentially harmful chemicals. A New York Times exposé on the health conditions affecting… Continue Reading

What is CPSC’s Fast Track Recall Program and When Should Companies Utilize It?

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Product Recalls, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Product Liability, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management, Voluntary Recalls

So what is the CPSC’s “fast track recall” program and what is the benefit of participating in it? What is a “stop sale notice” and why does the CPSC generally request it for fast track recalls? What else is required by the CPSC in order to participate in the program and what are the potential… 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

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Posted in Children's Products, Distributors, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Liability, Prop 65, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Product Safety Laws, State Regulations, Supply Chain Risk Management

Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature.  (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and California Reenters the GMO Food Labeling Arena – This Time Through The Legislature).  This past week, however, the California Appellate Court for the… Continue Reading

Class Action Defense Counsel adding ‘The Pick Off’ to Their Playbooks

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Drugs & Cosmetics, Litigation, Product Class Actions, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws, State Unfair Competition Laws

In recent years, we’ve noticed a new maneuver that class-action defense counsel have increasingly added to their playbooks: The Pick Off.  This is how the play is run: Offer the named plaintiff(s) full relief through a Rule 68 offer of judgment and, even if the plaintiff(s) reject the offer, argue that the fact that they were offered… Continue Reading

CPSC Focusing on Three Areas for Reduction of CPSIA Testing Burdens

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Regulations, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety, U.S. Congress

At their April Senate confirmation hearing, both incoming CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Joe Mohorovic pledged to Senator John Thune (R-SD) to submit plans for reducing third party testing burdens within 60 days of confirmation. Rather than send separate plans, Kaye and Mohorovic submitted a joint letter to Senator Thune recently made public on… Continue Reading

A Taste of Things to Come? Whole Foods Feels Sting of “Non-GMO” Litigation

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Product Safety, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Food and Beverage, Litigation, Manufacturer Product Safety, Product Class Actions, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws

As we’ve explored in past posts, mandatory GMO-labeling legislation has, at best, a spotty track record among state legislatures. Nevertheless, the GMO issue continues to draw the public’s attention, and it is becoming clear that the “Non-GMO” label now appeals to at least certain segments of the consumer base. Some companies in the food and beverage space… 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

CPSC Clarifies Changes to Monthly Recall Report Form

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Product Recalls, Manufacturer Product Safety, Private Labeler Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety, Voluntary Recalls

In May, we advised readers conducting recalls that the CPSC’s new monthly “recall progress report” form may catch you by surprise. Among other changes, the form included new provisions requesting companies to report recall notification statistics on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter along with information from the company’s monitoring of online auctions for… Continue Reading

The Food Fight Continues: Vermont AG Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Against GMO Labeling Law

Posted in Advertising, Food and Beverage, Litigation, Retailer Product Safety, State Consumer Protection Laws

In June, we reported on a suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (“GMA”) seeking to rescind Vermont’s new GMO-labeling statute, Act 120.  As we explained in that post, the GMA argues that Act 120 is doubly unconstitutional: not only does the law violate the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses (among others) of the U.S. Constitution… Continue Reading

Check Your CAP: CPSC Releases Revised Monthly Progress Report Form for Recalls

Posted in Consumer Product Safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CPSC Product Recalls, Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety, Voluntary Recalls

The CPSC recently released a new monthly progress report form for companies conducting recalls with the agency. The revised form is in some respects better written than its predecessor and retains many of the old information reporting categories, disposes of or modifies other information fields from the old form, and contains entirely new and already… Continue Reading

CPSC Settles Complaint Against Ex-CEO of Buckyballs and Buckycubes

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

On May 9, 2014, the CPSC and the maker of Buckyballs and Buckycubes settled the July 2012 administrative case brought by the CPSC alleging that these “rare earth magnets” pose a substantial product hazard.  The settlement agreement includes a voluntary recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes and a trust to be funded in the amount of… 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

CPSC Hits Pause on Final “Certificates of Compliance” Rule

Posted in Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Importer Safety, Manufacturer Product Safety, Retailer Product Safety

In response to a written request from 32 trade associations and issues raised by 58 public comments, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided at its public meeting this morning that it will seek further public input prior to finalizing a proposed amendment to its certificates of compliance regulation (often referred to as the “1110 rule”)…. 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

Large Retailer Fined for Violating Australia’s Product Safety Laws

Posted in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), CPSC Civil Penalties, Retailer Product Safety, Supply Chain Risk Management

At the end of December, Dimmeys, a large Australian discount department store, was fined approximately $3 million dollars by an Australian court for violating Australia’s federal product safety laws for the fifth time. The retailer’s supplier, Starite Distributors, was fined $600,000, and the owner of Dimmeys has been banned from managing the company (or any… Continue Reading