Chair, Consumer Product SafetyLitigationDefamation, Media, First AmendmentGovernment Affairsemail
There's A Difference Between Knowing the Rules Have Changed and Knowing the New RulesIf you’re in the consumer products business, the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) marked the end of business as usual. This sweeping legislation strictly regulates every step of bringing a product to market. The swift employment of the Act has left many manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers scrambling to fully understand the daunting changes in order to comply with the requirements. At the same time, a new Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) chairman and full five-member commission bring a new era of regulatory scrutiny, investigations, and unprecedented penalty exposure. Businesses will have to revisit the way they think about compliance and become more proactive about reporting and addressing potential trouble spots.
The risks for missteps are substantial. The penalty exposure for failure to report or comply has risen sharply from a maximum of $1.8 million to $15 million per violation. If you are a manufacturer, retailer or distributor of consumer products, you need a strong advocate to represent you before the CPSC.
Working Productively With the CPSCManatt’s Consumer Product Safety practice group is composed of attorneys who have been intimately involved with consumer product safety issues for decades, as well as the related areas of media libel and advertising. We serve on the advisory board of the Bureau of National Affairs Product Safety & Liability Reporter, a leading resource for business on product safety issues. In addition, our partners have extensive experience with CPSC staff and management agencywide and are well-versed on the CPSIA.
Since Manatt understands business and the complexities of the Act, we can guide you through the process to minimize potential exposure. From a detailed evaluation of your company’s readiness, through testing, certification, labeling, advertising, and reporting, we’ll help you meet your business objectives and regulatory requirements. We work closely with the CPSC to facilitate an open and productive dialogue. Many firms have a reactive “no contest” approach to CPSC issues, missing opportunities to avoid problems in the first place and to advocate for the company in the face of an inquiry or investigation. Manatt takes a data-driven, analytic and rational approach to effectively advocate for the company and resolve issues.
Knowing When to Report and How to Survive a RecallWe can help you determine when a report is appropriate and when corrective action may be required. If necessary, we will efficiently and effectively negotiate the scope of a recall, the corrective action, and the terms of public notice. We have successfully represented many companies, large and small, before the CPSC and, in many cases, have successfully shown that the reported issue did not warrant corrective action.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Whether it’s dietary supplements (nutraceuticals), cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, or medical devices, our FDA lawyers will help you understand and comply with the often complex FDA regulatory requirements applicable to your products. And, with an extensive practice representing manufacturers, marketers, and retailers of all sizes, we understand the significant challenges that come with selling products that are subject to overlapping FDA and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jurisdiction. Our goal is straightforward: To understand our clients’ products and strategies and develop creative approaches to meeting marketing objectives while staying within the bounds of the law.
While our work with the CPSC and the FDA covers 98% of all consumer products, we’re also fully capable of helping manufacturers that are regulated by other agencies, including the FTC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Manatt in ActionSince speculation can often make a bad situation much worse, we keep CPSC matters in the strictest confidence and manage the flow of accurate information during a recall, employing the media to reach affected consumers. We have managed critical situations in virtually every spectrum of manufacturing, including home appliances, power tools, consumer technology, and video games.To prevent the dissemination of damaging misinformation about our clients or their products, we have successfully communicated pre-and post-publication cease and desist demands to many print, broadcast and online media outlets, including:
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