With the complexity of today’s product safety regulatory environment and the drastic increase in civil penalty amounts for failure to report safety hazards, it is more important than ever for manufacturers and retailers to retain expert legal counsel in this area. Lawyers in Kelley Drye’s Consumer Product Safety practice have a long, successful history of helping companies identify and resolve potential liability issues confidentially before they escalate and have the potential to draw scrutiny from regulators and negative publicity.
The group regularly advises clients on internal compliance programs and the difficult issues of how and when potentially hazardous consumer products must be reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In the event that a manufacturer is faced with a product recall, Kelley Drye collaborates with our client and CPSC staff to develop and implement cost-effective communications programs to satisfy product liability concerns quickly while minimizing potential penalties. If the CPSC threatens to or brings enforcement actions, clients count on Kelley Drye to provide appropriate strategies that protect corporate interests and preserve business momentum.
Kelley Drye’s Consumer Product Safety group represents a broad spectrum of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products, including electronics, fire and security systems, outdoor power equipment, children’s and nursery products, and clothing.
The firm’s work before the CPSC and on behalf of clients is extensive and varied, and includes:
- Participating in voluntary and mandatory industry-wide standards.
- Demonstrating that changes in a standard are unnecessary.
- Developing and implementing compliance programs.
- Addressing reporting issues.
- Evaluating consumer incident reports, including those submitted to the CPSC database SaferProducts.gov.
- Negotiating appropriate notice and programs for product recalls.
- Defending against enforcement actions.
Kelley Drye recognizes the far-reaching implications of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), which was signed by President Bush in August 2008. The firm tracked closely CPSC’s implementation of the law, including the effects on manufacturers, distributors, importers, and retailers of consumer products. Every day, the Kelley Drye team continues to help clients navigate the legislation and gauge its consequences for their businesses.
In light of CPSC’s information-sharing agreement with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Kelley Drye attorneys counsel clients on how this arrangement affects the process of importing and exporting consumer products. In partnership with our International Trade and Customs practice, we advise companies on new procedures and orchestrate the release of goods that may become detained at the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center.
Potential product safety issues often require immediate action. Kelley Drye’s size, entrepreneurial culture and strategic focus on core competencies permit us to respond quickly and flexibly to client needs. The firm strives to staff client matters with the right number and caliber of attorneys. In response to specific client needs and objectives, Kelley Drye often assembles an interdisciplinary client team. This approach provides innovative, cost-effective services to clients while also building a firm culture that supports cooperation and a shared commitment to delivering superb service to our clients.
- Represented a national department store to recall a children’s clothing item and to negotiate civil penalty settlement with CPSC.
- Represented a Fortune 100 appliance manufacturer to negotiate civil penalty settlement with CPSC.
- Represent a trade association of lawn and garden equipment manufacturers and its members on various matters before the CPSC, including tracking standards development activity.
- Represent manufacturer of electrical products and tools to develop product safety compliance program and to evaluate potential CPSC reporting obligations.
- Advise retailers of children’s products to establish vendor protocols for compliance issues.
- Represent publishing company regarding compliance issues.
- Advise international conglomerate regarding quality control procedures for manufacturing and develop product safety compliance program.
- Represent manufacturer of electrical power tools to resolve litigation and negotiate civil penalty settlement with the CPSC.
- Coordinated efforts on behalf of a children’s toys manufacturer to release imported goods detained by the CPSC and CBP at the Commercial Targeting Analysis Center.