Consumer Protection Products Liability

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Product Safety and Liability Prevention

When companies make products that are not safe, they automatically increase their liabilities. This is not in anyone’s interest. Costs increase. Bad PR increases. Good will is lost. Insurance rates go up. And, most...more

American Spirit Cigarettes — Tobacco is back with ad deception…

On August 27, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc. and Reynolds American Inc., the company that owns Santa Fe Natural Tobacco and produces American Spirit...more

Advertising Law - July 2016 #3

Wikipedia Link Trips up Ninth Circuit False Ad Suit - Ruling that a California federal court incorrectly relied upon a Wikipedia link when considering a summary judgment motion in a false advertising suit, the Ninth...more

Slack-fill Litigation on the Rise

The recent filing of a proposed class action targeting Mondelez International, Inc. for the amount of empty space in its Sour Patch Watermelon candy boxes is the latest lawsuit targeting consumer goods manufacturers for...more

European Chemical Agency Publishes Call for Evidence on the Use of Formaldehyde Releasers

On July 6, 2016, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued a call for evidence from relevant stakeholders to gather information on the uses of formaldehyde releasers. ECHA intends to issue a report to inform the...more

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

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...more

FDA Releases Draft Guidance For Updating Generic Drug Labels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a draft guidance document with the goal of facilitating certain updates to abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) labels. In particular, the draft guidance...more

CPSC Recall Snapshot: July 2016

Welcome to the July edition of the Alston & Bird CPSC Recall Snapshot. The CPSC has announced two major recalls in the last month impacting millions of products. The most recent of these major recalls is the July 6...more

California Unveils Its First Green Chemistry Regulations for Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products with Fire Retardants

Following up on the breakthrough amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), California has reasserted its intention to proceed with its Green Chemistry Initiative to require substitution of safer chemicals...more

Forget About Vermont!: Congress Passes GMO “Labeling” Legislation

On July 14, 2016, the House of Representatives passed S.764 creating a National Bioengineered Food Standard. Importantly for food manufacturers and distributors, the law – expected to be signed by President Obama – will...more

Falling Furniture — Get a Hold On It Before They Do

CPSC Issues National Campaign To Curb Accidents from Falling Furniture - One child dies every two weeks from falling furniture in the home, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The public became very much...more

New FDA Draft Guidance on Updates to Certain Generic Labeling

On July 8, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance amending the process for manufacturers to update labeling of generic drugs in situations where the reference drug labeling has been withdrawn for...more

Australian Court Imposes $3 Million Penalty for Product Safety Violations

Earlier this month, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminded businesses that, in February, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Woolworths to pay $3.057 million AUD for several violations of the...more

Buyer Beware: Used Cars Subject to Different Protections Than New Cars

The new highway bill that recently was signed into law seems to have been influenced by the automotive industry because it does not require used-car dealerships to make repairs on vehicles with open recalls, leaving buyers...more

VW ‘Dieselgate’ Settlement Benefit Consumers, Environment

News of “Dieselgate” broke in the Fall 2014, when vaunted vehicle-maker Volkswagen was accused of dodging federal emissions laws by rigging its automobiles so they would pass smog tests. The summer of 2015 saw the scandal...more

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

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...more

2016 – Already a Record Year for CPSC Civil Penalty Settlements

At only the halfway point in 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or the “Commission”) has already broken last year’s record for total amount of civil penalties. Thanks in part to the largest CPSC civil...more

Nationwide GE Labeling Leaps Forward

Four years after California’s genetically engineered (GE) food labeling initiative was defeated, but just days before Vermont’s GE law is to go into effect, the U.S. Senate is poised to impose such labeling nationwide. The...more

New Proposed Legislation: Doctors Must Report Med Device-Related Deaths & Injuries

Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) announced plans to propose the Medical Device Guardians Act of 2016. According to a press release from Rep. Fitzpatrick, the Act is “a package of bills aimed...more

Takata Airbag Recall Balloons — 7 Automakers Join List

NHTSA Calls Controversy ‘Largest and Most Complex Safety Recall in U.S. History’ - The consumer-safety threat posed by defective airbags in millions of vehicles worldwide has escalated again....more

EU REACH Annexes Amended to Reflect Non-Animal Testing Requirement

The REACH annexes regarding skin and eye irritation and acute dermal toxicity have been amended and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. They became effective on June 20, 2016, with amendments for skin...more

Do Warnings Work?

We observed some while ago that at least some courts have questioned the “heeding presumption,” which presumes that if a manufacturer gave a warning, a consumer would have followed it. The Nevada Supreme Court, for example,...more

Why the FDA Needs to Change Its Food Recall Policies

Add this to FDA’s growing list of things to do: improve the food recall initiation process. According to a memorandum published on June 8, 2016, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human...more

The Last Set of Major FSMA Regulations Are Done!

The last of FDA’s seven “foundational” rules mandated under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) was published at the end of last month, just a few days before the May 31, 2016 deadline agreed to by the Agency...more

Still Waiting—FDA Delays Rulemaking

The FDA recently announced that it would once again delay promulgation of its proposed rule for generic drug labeling obligations. This action followed introduction of a spending bill that would have blocked funding for the...more

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