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Consumer Product Safety Commission May Provide Employees with Power to Vote on Voluntary Guidelines

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is preparing to vote on whether to enact a proposed rule that would permit the Commission’s employees to participate in the numerous committees that create CPSC’s voluntary guidelines. The rule would also vest members with the ability to vote as committee members, while also authorizing them to lead committees subject to approval from the CPSC’s executive director.

The proposed rule was developed in response to a recommendation from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), urging the Commission to investigate the feasibility of taking a more engaged and active role in the creation of voluntary standards.

The CPSC develops voluntary standards, which create safety provisions geared toward identifying the countless consumer hazards that many products pose, including goods commonly found in schools, parks, playgrounds, homes, and other prominent locations. Due to the complexity of these guidelines, a great deal of work goes into their development, revision, final proposal, and enactment. Three committees were created within the CPSC to help create standards: the American Society for Testing and Materials, the American National Standards Institute, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Whether employees should be allowed to vote on voluntary standards has been a hotly debated issue, and it will have a major impact on the future research, development, and adoption of these standards. Currently, employees of CPSC provide technical support to many different entities and stakeholders in addition to the committees, including direct support with researching, developing, and proposing guidelines. Some CPSC members, for example, examine statistics and research regarding the number of reported injuries and deaths associated with certain products, or contribute expert advice.

The CPSC receives countless reports regarding incidences and requests to provide guidance about a wide variety of products, including those geared toward child safety. If your child has been injured as the result of a dangerous product, you may bring a product liability claim to recover compensation for his or her injuries.

In general, a product liability lawsuit requires the plaintiff to show that the product bears an unreasonably dangerous design, or that it contains a manufacturing defect that renders the product unreasonably dangerous. This type of claim can also address a manufacturer’s failure to provide appropriate warnings or instructions with its products.

CPSC’s voluntary guidelines can sometimes provide helpful guidance in these lawsuits when it comes to determining whether a product is unreasonably dangerous. When the Commission is considering how to address a specific hazard, for example, it seeks to establish a standard that addresses the hazard effectively and that is either followed widely by current members of the industry, or expected to be.

If you or someone you love was injured due to a dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, we know how devastating and stressful it can be for the victim of an accident and his or her family. As a result, we approach each client with the compassion and personalized attention that he or she deserves, while ensuring that his or her interests are protected along the way. We offer a free consultation and proudly serve clients throughout the nation, including in Illinois, New York, California, and Florida. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your consultation.

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