Since the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published its updated 2023 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising earlier this year, consumer reviews have been front of mind. This guidance covers, in part, the treatment of consumer reviews, and companies have been (or should be) preparing for an uptick in FTC enforcement. But it’s not just the FTC to watch out for. A recent wave of class actions arising under California Civil Code § 1670.8 related to a customer’s right to make statements about their experience with a seller has raised the bar for retailers to another level.Continue Reading I Can’t Say What? New Wave of Class Actions Target Consumer Review Terms & Conditions

What a company knew and when is a critical question in any lawsuit involving recalled products. And the answer may be complicated, particularly when a manufacturer announces multiple recalls and expands previous recalls.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Mid-America Pet Food Faces Putative Class Action Over Recalled Pet Food Products

On December 18, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Cosmetics Direct, the electronic submission portal for facility registration and product listing required under the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA) and published a User Guide for the portal.[1] Cosmetics Direct contains user friendly data entry forms, performs initial validations, creates and saves the structured product labeling (SPL) submission, and submits the SPL to FDA.Continue Reading FDA Launches Cosmetics Direct and Issues Final Guidance on Facility Registration & Product Listings Required under MoCRA

On December 14, 2023, the FDA issued an update with further instructions on  serious adverse event reporting under the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (“MoCRA”), which is enforceable starting December 29, 2023.Continue Reading FDA Provides Updated Instructions for Reporting Serious Adverse Events under MoCRA

Just over a month after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intent to delay enforcement of facility registration and product listing under the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report, “COSMETIC SAFETY: Better Planning Would Enhance FDA Efforts to Implement New Law,” with seven recommendations to strengthen FDA efforts to implement its new cosmetic oversight responsibilities.Continue Reading GAO Report Concludes that the FDA Needs to Strengthen its Efforts to Implement MoCRA

What if there was a way to easily see the raw materials and production process, environmental and social impact, and expected product performance of a consumer product by simply scanning a QR code? Would easy access to that information during the lifecycle of a consumer product, incentivize sustainable production and consumption, promote repair, refurbish, reuse and recycling, and reduce waste? This is the future contemplated by the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan. A future that may be obtainable through the implementation of digital product passports.Continue Reading Digital Product Passports

On Friday, CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric gave a keynote address to the International Symposium of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) in Almhult, Sweden. Hoehn-Saric focused his remarks on his stated goal for the third year of his term as chairman of the agency—addressing recalled or otherwise violative products sold on or through online marketplaces. In Hoehn-Saric’s view, consumers expect to purchase safe products on online marketplaces, and they should not need to know or discern whether a product is purchased directly from an online retailer or from an entity that has been provided access to consumers through the online platform. He complemented collaborative improvements by Amazon, eBay and Target but issued a call to action including adoption of “safety by design“ and legislative and regulatory protections.Continue Reading CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric Focuses on Online Marketplaces at ICPHSO International Conference

Bayer Healthcare LLC (Bayer) is the latest in a long line of companies to be hit with a consumer class action lawsuit over recalled personal care products containing benzene—a carcinogen found in a variety of consumer products, including most notoriously, aerosol deodorant, sunscreen, and dry shampoo.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Benzene Continues To Be A Hot Button Issue

More than two years after consumers across the country first started filing suit against Philips Respironics (Philips) over certain recalled sleep apnea devices, the company announced that it has reached an agreement to pay $479 million to compensate consumers. Philips voluntarily recalled several different models of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilateral positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines and ventilators back in June 2021. In the months that followed, Philips was inundated with lawsuits by consumers, which alleged that Philips knew about the serious risk of injury posed by its recalled devices long before any public announcement. Hundreds of consumer-facing lawsuits were ultimately consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in In re: Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Liability Litigation.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Philips Reaches Settlement in CPAP/BiPAP MDL

Consumer-driven lawsuits that follow a product recall often focus on what the company knew, when it knew it, and how it acted in response. And for companies who are hoping to avoid such a lawsuit, one of the biggest questions is what do they need to disclose to consumers and how far does that obligation reach? Certainly, companies cannot disclose what they did not know, and manufacturers are not required to warn for every conceivable risk, regardless of how remote. A recent class action, Gurkov v. Real Kosher Ice Cream Inc., No. 1:23-cv-06128 (E.D.N.Y Aug. 14, 2023), brings these issues into focus.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Real Kosher Ice Cream Sued Over Listeria Contamination