In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common types of fertility treatment, but the process is also extremely sensitive, invasive, and expensive. All of these factors come into play in a series of recent lawsuits following CooperSurgical’s December 5, 2023 recall of three lots of its embryo culture media—a substance that allows for the development of fertilized embryos. According to the company’s announcement, CooperSurgical had received a high number of customer complaints indicating that its embryo culture media caused impaired embryo development.

Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: CooperSurgical Faces Multiple Lawsuits Following Recall of IVF Embryo Culture Media

The FTC celebrates the Valentine’s Day holiday this week by providing warnings to consumers about online romance scams.  Additionally, this week’s updates include the FTC’s warnings to artificial intelligence companies regarding clauses in terms of services, a new tool to combat impersonation scams, and a judgment providing monetary relief for small businesses harmed by cash advance companies. All this, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (February 12-16, 2024)

The FTC continued its focus on consumer protection matters this week, announcing both finalized orders and consumer refunds in enforcement actions ranging from student debt relief to telemarketing. This, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (February 5 – February 9, 2024)

Greetings from Orlando, FL! The Crowell product safety team is currently attending the annual meeting and training symposium of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). We just heard keynote remarks from the Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Alexander Hoehn-Saric, and wish to share some highlights. As he did in October 2023 at the ICPHSO International Conference in Sweden, Chair Hoehn-Saric focused his remarks on addressing products sold on or through online marketplaces.

Chair Hoehn-Saric first set the stage by sharing some important data points. In 2023, the CPSC announced more than 300 product recalls; levied more than $52 million in civil penalties; engaged in 14 new mandatory safety standard rulemakings; screened more than 60,000 harmful products at the ports; and participated in numerous safety education campaigns. He also noted the budget uncertainty at the CPSC and the need to “do more with less” and stated that the CPSC will always “put consumers first” as they prioritize their work should the CPSC budget decrease.

Continue Reading CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric Addresses Annual Product Safety Conference  

The FTC this week has primarily focused on consumer protection, announcing successful efforts against companies who failed to protect consumers from illegal telemarketing calls and hackers. The agency’s efforts build on a series of actions focusing on consumer privacy and security, which are all the more important as, in the agency’s words, “businesses face fresh incentives to hoard data to train AI models.” These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (January 29 – February 2, 2024)

On January 31, 2024, EPA Administrator Michael Regan signed two proposed rules related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and corrective action authority under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These rulemakings follow from a 2021 announcement covered in a prior Crowell client alert, adding to the growing number of pending PFAS-related proposals submitted by EPA.

Continue Reading EPA Continues to Push Toward Regulation of PFAS By Proposing Two More New Rules Under RCRA

The FTC continues to make strides at the start of the new year. The FTC and the Justice Department met with world leaders in the competition space and announced numerous updates to their procedures demonstrating the government’s commitment to remaining up to date with current technology and trends. This, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (January 22 – January 29, 2024)

On January 25, 2024, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), introduced the Consumer Advocacy and Protection (CAP) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 7096) and U.S. Senate (S 3667). The CAP Act aims to deter companies from committing safety violations by increasing CPSC’s penalty authority.

Under current law, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of consumer products are required to report immediately to the CPSC information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. If violations occur, the applicable civil penalty is a maximum of $100,000 per individual violation and $15,000,000 for a series of related violations. These amounts were adjusted for inflation in 2021, reaching $120,000 per violation and $17,150,000 for a series of related violations.

Continue Reading New Bill Could Mean Higher Penalties for Failure to Report Safety Concerns

As we enter 2024, the FTC is pushing forward on all fronts. The Bureau of Consumer Protection announced both settlements and actions, especially related to telemarketing and robocalls, as well as automotive industry junk fees and illegal uses of consumer location data. And, the FTC has scheduled a summit on Artificial Intelligence on January 25. This, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (January 1 – January 19, 2024)