Category Archives: Product Safety

Third Circuit rejects J&J bankruptcy attempt to avoid liability to consumers

In a major decision today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to use bankruptcy to strictly curtail its liability for claims that talc in its consumer products caused cancer. As the Court explained: With mounting payouts and litigation costs, [J&J’s] Old Consumer [entity], through a series of […]

Fifth Circuit to consider e-cigarette marketing denial en banc

Tobacco companies have long fought regulatory action to protect consumer health and safety, and while there has been a shift from smokeable products to “e-cigarettes,” the legal battles continue. In 2016, the FDA issued a rule deeming e-cigarettes “new tobacco products,” and requiring manufacturers to submit premarket tobacco product applications (“PMTAs”) before they could sell […]

More on gas-stove policy

From Bloomberg: When a commissioner from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said earlier this month it would consider a ban on gas stoves to beat back greenhouse emissions and health hazards, the backlash was swift. Enraged Americans and conservative politicians were adamant about keeping their beloved appliance, and the agency renounced the possibility of a […]

“Forever chemicals” show regulatory failures

Writing for the Maine Monitor, Marina Schauffler observes: Going back in time can reveal how far we still have to progress. In researching per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for a recent article series, I found myself ricocheting between the present and the 1950s and 1960s. That was when the vast class of fluorinated compounds commonly […]

New tech products prompt privacy, consumer choice, and environmental concerns

The Washington Post reports that companies touting new tech products — including health wearables, smart TVs, autonomous vehicles, and other gadgets that rely on data from our bodies or homes — seldom directly address how they treat customer’s data after it’s collected or their approach to safety and security. The article is here.

Agencies announce plans for new rulemakings

On Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget issued the Fall 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Unified Agenda lists the regulations that each of the federal agencies are currently planning to work on. Among many other topics, the rules in progress include a Federal Trade Commission rule on children’s online privacy […]

Tesla buyers forced to arbitrate disputes

The New York Times reports: Until last month, a class-action lawsuit by Tesla owners looked as if it would reveal new details about the carmaker’s self-driving technology, which has been blamed for serious accidents and deaths. But then Tesla deployed a legal strategy that has allowed it to avoid the kind of attention-grabbing lawsuits other […]

“Why the U.S. Is Losing the Fight to Ban Toxic Chemicals”

A new ProPublica article reports that, “[f]rom a powerful chemical industry that helped write the toxic substances law to an underfunded EPA lacking in resolve, the flaws in the American chemical regulatory apparatus run deep.” When ProPublica published stories this fall cataloging new evidence that American chemical workers are being exposed to asbestos, readers reacted […]