Consumer Product Safety, Risk Prevention,
and Regulatory Practice
Members of the Consumer Product Safety, Risk Prevention, and Regulatory Practice Group have experience advising clients on protecting their product brand and complying with state and federal statutes and regulations on consumer product safety. The team works with our clients on risk assessment and management; compliance with state and federal requirements for consumer products; product safety incident reporting and recalls; importation of consumer products; and other issues under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Whether the context is product evaluation, regulatory enforcement, or civil litigation, the Group is dedicated to ensuring compliance and evaluating each case promptly to devise a strategy designed to deliver the most effective result. To that end, attorneys advise consumer product manufacturers, retailers, importers, and distributors regarding product safety, product safety reporting issues, government investigations, risk assessment, corrective action plans, supply chain management, and effective product recall campaigns.
The Firm's attorneys practicing in the Group have developed internal controls, compliance systems, and risk prevention plans to guide companies through complicated matters involving product safety and recalls. In addition, these attorneys have counseled clients on CPSA, CPSIA, and CPSC testing and certification requirements, civil penalty investigations, and evaluation of product literature and labeling.
Members of the Group partner with in-house legal teams under a variety of arrangements designed to serve both long-term, company-wide product safety goals and to resolve promptly individual reporting obligations, investigations, and recalls.
A snapshot of the Firm's experience in this area includes the following:
- Compliance: Counseling Fortune 500 manufacturers—ranging from home appliances to building products to apparel—on compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Flammable Fabric Act (FFA), and the associated rules and regulations implemented by the CPSC.
- Protocols: Developing integrated internal compliance programs and conducting product compliance audits, including review of existing manufacturing processes and internal specifications to implement effective compliance programs.
- Reporting: Advising both publicly traded and private companies on product safety incident reporting responsibilities and evaluating obligations and deadlines to investigate and report various incidents pursuant to CPSA Section 15(b).
- Investigations, Disputes, Litigation: Representing clients in CPSC civil penalty investigations and responding to Section 15(b) inquiries and investigations, FOIA requests, and requests for information related to product recalls.
- Consumer Database Reports: Evaluating responses to Consumer Product Safety Incident Database reports involving product safety and disclosure of confidential and materially inaccurate information, including requests to correct, remove, or redact confidential or incorrect information through the Business Portal.
- Recalls: Assisting companies in management of corrective action plans, voluntary and mandatory product recalls, including the CPSC’s Fast Track Product Recall Program, and handling disposal of returned products and product recall notifications pursuant to corrective action plans.
- Testing, Certification, Records: Counseling companies on product and component part testing, certification, and record-retention requirements in compliance with the CPSIA and integrating industry-leading product safety policies.
- Product Literature and Labeling: Evaluating product warranty language, warnings, instructions for use, and product labeling, including compliance with FHSA and Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) labeling requirements.
- Foreign Products: Advising international companies on domestic imports regarding CPSC’s expanded marketplace surveillance program and advising domestic companies on international product safety issues, including European CE markings and Health Canada regulatory issues.
- Communication: Assisting in developing robust legal, engineering, and business responses to product recalls or CPSC investigations, product safety communication efforts to minimize penalties and reputational risks, and communicating with CPSC staff and interested persons, particularly those with a duty to report, including distributors, suppliers, and key employees.
- Training: Providing comprehensive compliance training, including prevention programs, audits, and investigations addressing product failures or complaints; developing methods of avoiding or minimizing potential claims and procedures to assist in-house counsel in the defense of future claims.