Manufacturers Should Carefully Monitor the New Consumer Product Safety Information Database

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The new online Consumer Product Safety Information Database (database) has recently become publicly available, and all manufacturers of consumer products would be wise to take notice, as it has the potential to increase their exposure to costly litigation.

For several decades, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has gathered and maintained a database of consumer complaints related to death, injury and diseases allegedly caused by consumer products. Such information was accessible to the public via the Freedom of Information Act after reasonable steps were followed to ensure fairness and accuracy, and after the manufacturer had a chance to investigate and comment on the incident. In contrast, the rules recently promulgated by the CPSC have created new disclosure requirements for consumer product safety-related incident reports that provide much less protection for manufacturers and potentially open the door for fraud, abuse and a significant increase in litigation.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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