On May 5, 2023, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that it agreed to a civil penalty settlement with Generac Power Systems, Inc., (“Generac”) to resolve charges that Generac failed to report immediately to the CPSC under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). Specifically, the CPSC alleged that certain models of Generac’s portable generators contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers. This settlement includes a $15,800,000 civil penalty, and requirements that Generac (1) implement and maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the CPSA; and (2) file annual reports with the agency for the next three years regarding the Company’s compliance program, internal controls and procedures, internal audits of the effectiveness of the new compliance program and internal controls.Continue Reading CPSC and Company Reach Agreement on $15.8 Million Civil Penalty for Failure to Report
Last Thursday, April 6, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sued SunSetter Products LP (SunSetter) in a Massachusetts federal court in a rare civil penalty lawsuit. SunSetter manufactures motorized retractable awnings for outdoor use. The Government alleges in its complaint that SunSetter knowingly failed to timely report under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) a hazardous defect related to vinyl covers for its retractable awnings. The complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, including a third-party monitorship over the company, and civil penalties.Continue Reading CPSC Seeks Civil Penalty Against SunSetter in Rare Federal Court Action
In December 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed a putative class action against FCA US LLC on prudential mootness grounds because FCA announced a voluntary safety recall shortly after plaintiffs filed suit. Earlier this year, LG Energy Solution Michigan (“LG”) showed, yet again, how a voluntary recall can prove an effective defense to pending litigation.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: LG Energy Solution Michigan Reaps the Benefit of a Quick and Comprehensive Recall
Companies faced with a potential product recall are often concerned with possible adverse publicity and increased litigation risk. But a quick and comprehensive recall can be the very tool that stops a lawsuit in its tracks. In a recent Law360 article titled, “Quick and Comprehensive Recall Moots Claims and Proves an Effective Tool in Defeating…
As previously reported, a number of consumers filed suit earlier this year against Exactech after it recalled the polyethylene liners in certain hip, knee, and ankle implants. As of February 2022, Exactech’s recall applied to hundreds of thousands of Connexion, Optetrak, Truliant and Vantage brand hip, knee, and ankle replacement liners manufactured as far back as 2004. According to Exactech, the polyethylene liners were packaged in non-conforming vacuum bags that lacked an additional protective layer and allowed air to come into contact with the inserts and increase the risk that the devices would fail once implanted in a patient.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Plaintiffs Seek to Consolidate Recall-Related Lawsuits Against Exactech
New parents have their hands full. Baby bouncy seats and swings offer busy caregivers a way to put an infant down but still allow him or her to see and interact with the surrounding environment. But recent recalls have led parents to think twice before going hands free.
On August 15, 2022, 4moms and the CPSC announced a recall of more than two million 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swings (versions 1.0 – 4.0) and over 220,000 RockaRoo Baby Rockers sold in the U.S. and Canada. According to the announcement, the restraint straps on the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rocker can dangle below the seat when the product is not in use, posing a strangulation hazard to crawling infants. On August 29, 2022, residents from North Carolina and South Carolina sued Thorley Industries, LLC (d/b/a 4moms) on behalf of nationwide class of purchasers of the recalled products in federal court in Pennsylvania.Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows 4moms Recall of MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rockers
It is impossible to deny the convenience of having pre-made or ready-to-make meals delivered to your doorstep. Daily Harvest, which launched in 2015, has cornered the market on ready-to-eat, “actually healthy” meal delivery. Recently, however, a recent recall of one of its products after consumers fell ill, has led to several lawsuits against the company.
On June 17th, Daily Harvest initiated a voluntary recall after consumers reported adverse reactions after eating the “French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.” After an investigation, Daily Harvest announced that the source of the problem was tara flour, which is one of the ingredients. Just a short while later, on June 27th, a New York resident filed a putative class action lawsuit against Daily Harvest, Peni v. Daily Harvest, 1:22-cv-05443 (S.D.N.Y. filed June 27, 2022), alleging that she bought and consumed the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and then “became violently ill with gastrointestinal illness and was hospitalized” for “fever, nausea, extreme abdominal pain, chills and joint pain,” which led in the removal of her gallbladder. The plaintiff seeks to assert strict liability, breach of express and implied warranties, and negligence claims against the company on behalf of a Nationwide and New York subclasses of persons who suffered “gastrointestinal illness” as a result of Daily Harvest’s French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Daily Harvest Sued After Recall of French Lentil + Leek Crumbles
Despite imposing onerous new compliance terms, the recently announced Vornado civil penalty was criticized by three commissioners as too low amid their urgent calls for larger penalties in the future. On July 7, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a $7.5 million civil penalty settlement with manufacturer of air circulation products, Vornado Air (Vornado). Vornado agreed to pay the civil penalty to resolve charges that the Company knowingly failed to immediately report allegedly defective electric space heaters to the CPSC under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The Commission voted 4-0-1 to provisionally accept the settlement. Notably, three of the agency’s five commissioners published individual statements alongside the agency’s announcement of the penalty, which is atypical. The statements provide product safety stakeholders with insights on how the “new” Commission views civil penalties and its enforcement authority. Continue Reading “Wiping the Slate Clean”— CPSC Commissioners Signal Higher Penalties to Come in Wake of Vornado Penalty Resolution
In the first half of 2022, manufacturers have been as busy as ever navigating recalled products and fielding the class action lawsuit that often (but do not always) follow.
CPAP Litigation Finds New Defendant
For the last year, Philips Respironics (“Philips”) has been inundated with lawsuits brought by consumers and medical device suppliers, over its CPAP and BiPAP breathing machines. And in more recent months, SoClean, a manufacturer of sanitation machines specifically designed to work with CPAP and BiPAP sleep apnea equipment, has been defending itself against a lawsuit of its own.Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: 2022 Mid-Year Recap
Class actions following a product recall often focus on what the company allegedly knew before its products were taken off the market. But this is not always the case. A company can also come under fire for its actions after the recall and, specifically, what recourse it offers to consumers of recalled products.
On October 5, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) alerted the public of a manufacturing issue with certain lots of Ellume USA LLC’s (“Ellume”) COVID-19 Home Tests that had could lead to false positive results, and several weeks later, the FDA announced a Class I recall of these tests based on the higher-than-acceptable false positive test result. When it comes to COVID-19, a false positive could lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment of the actual cause of illness; further spread of COVID 19 when presumed positive people are grouped based on false test results; unnecessary COVID-19 treatment from health care providers, such as antiviral treatment, convalescent plasma, or monoclonal antibody treatment, which can result in side effects; disregard for the recommended precautions against COVID-19, including vaccination; and isolation, monitoring household or close contacts for symptoms, limiting contact with family or friends, and missing school or work.
Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: Consumers Bring Class Action Lawsuit Against Ellume Refusing to Refund Recalled COVID-19 Home Tests