DC Circuit Vacates CPSC Rule on Window Covering Cords

In a decision today, the DC Circuit vacated the CPSC’s safety standard for the operating cords on custom-made window coverings. Based on a finding that such cords pose a strangulation risk to young children, the rule, in the DC Circuit’s words, “essentially prohibit[ed] corded window products,” and the CPSC “set an aggressive timeline for industry compliance with the new standards.”

The DC Circuit agreed with industry challengers that the CPSC violated notice-and-comment requirements by failing to disclose certain injury-incident data it relied upon, but rejected arguments that the agency’s cost-benefit analysis inappropriately diverged from that in the proposed rule and that the agency ignored industry revisions to a voluntary standard. The court also found that errors in the agency’s cost-benefit analysis made it arbitrary and capricious, and that the agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously in setting an expedited effective date.

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