After a pause in 2022, there has been much talk of the continuation, or resumption, of a wave of retail bankruptcy cases as we begin 2023. 2022 was highlighted by Revlon’s filing (discussed here: Revlon May Signal Another Wave of Retail Bankruptcies | Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer (retailconsumerproductslaw.com)). Revlon pointed to a number of issues that led to its filing, including most prominently, supply chain issues. Severe impediments in the supply chain – whether the inability to source product or the costs and delays in received goods — have been cited by many debtors since Revlon since as a leading cause of their distress. And it may get much worse before it gets better, particularly for companies that source, directly or indirectly, from China.Continue Reading Continued Pain in the Retail Sector: Coming Enforcement of Forced Labor Laws
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Two years into the Trump Administration and:
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission finally has a Republican majority,
- the Department of Transportation has released its 3.0 guidance on autonomous vehicles,
- NIST has published a 375 page recommendation on medical
On Monday, President Trump nominated Ann Marie Buerkle, who has served as Acting Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission since February 9, 2017, to serve as permanent Chair of the Commission. The appointment is for a term of seven years beginning on October 27, 2018 when her current term expires. Acting Chair Buerkle’s…
The International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization’s 2017 Annual Meeting & Training Symposium is being held February 20-23, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Evaluating & Managing Risk.”
Cheryl Falvey, former general counsel of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)…
Retailers and consumer products companies need to be aware of a new law affecting negative online reviews. On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111) into law. The Act voids “non-disparagement clauses” in form contracts designed to prevent consumers from posting negative comments and online reviews of products and services. The Act also makes it unlawful for companies to include these clauses in their form contracts. The Federal Trade Commission will enforce the Act in the same way it enforces against unfair or deceptive trade practices under its jurisdiction; state attorneys general may also enforce the Act under certain conditions. For existing contracts, the Act will take effect in 90 days and FTC/state enforcement may commence one year from now.Continue Reading Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 — Beware of the Negative Online Review
Consumer safety is increasingly on the minds of government regulators and consumer product companies. In a three-part video series, Cheri Falvey, Crowell & Moring partner and co-chair of the firm’s Advertising & Product Risk Management Group, as well as former general counsel of the CPSC, breaks down risk mitigation strategies that consumer products companies should consider as part of their compliance programs.
In these two-minute videos, Cheri goes over common mistakes that companies can make in meeting their regulatory compliance obligation, what corporate officers can do to avoid enforcement action, and how to minimize the risk of litigation during a product recall, amongst other considerations. Click here to view this video alert and to access a transcript on Crowell.com. Each video is also embedded at the bottom of this post.Continue Reading VIDEO: Risk Mitigation Strategies and Compliance Programs for Consumer Product Companies
In January 2014, a blind patron sued Lucky Brand Jeans for discrimination when he was not able to use Lucky Brand’s point-of-sale (“POS”) device to independently complete a debit purchase because the visual touch screen on the POS was not discernible to blind individuals. The plaintiff filed a class action under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Recently, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a Statement of Interest in this case in response to two arguments advanced by Lucky Brand in a motion to dismiss.
Lucky Brand argued that: (1) there is no requirement within the ADA and its regulations mandating that the POS devices have the capabilities requested by the plaintiff; and (2) since blind customers can purchase items by using cash, credit, or by processing their debit card as a credit card, there was no discrimination under the ADA merely because the plaintiff could not use the POS device to use his debit card as a debit card.Continue Reading DOJ’s Recently Articulated Position on the Accessibility of Point-of-Sales Devices
On July 27, 2012, California released a revised draft of its Safer Consumer Products Regulations—commonly known as the "Green Chemistry Initiative." The proposed regulations establish a process for California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and product manufacturers to assess whether consumer products containing certain "chemicals of concern" can be made with safer ingredients. Once…
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) just announced a giant leap forward in its effort to protect U.S. consumers against defective products manufactured in China. To combat the increasing frequency with which hazardous Chinese consumer products enter the United States, on January 10, 2011, the CPSC opened an office in China. The CPSC hopes that this new office will promote more effective communication with its Chinese counterpart – the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (“AQSIQ”) – allowing the CPSC to adopt a proactive approach to product safety with respect to Chinese imports. The agency’s proactive and preventative approach to product safety should also benefit U.S.-based retailers who often bear the expense of recalling defective products that originate in China, yet are left without recourse against the products’ Chinese manufacturers.
Continue Reading The CPSC Leaps Into China