Earlier today, in conjunction with the launch of its campaign to prevent re-sellers of consumer products from introducing into the stream of commerce various products that were the subject of safety recalls (an earlier study concluded that almost 75% of re-sellers failed to comply with the Federal law prohibiting the re-sale of recalled consumer products) the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission released its Top Ten List of Recalled Children's Products.

Interestingly, this announcement does not clarify why these particular products made the "Top Ten" list. While some may be inclined to think that this is a cheap marketing gimmick, or a vain attempt at humor (ala David Letterman), my reading of the description of incidents that led to the recall of these dangerous products convinces me that this is not the case. The distinguishing characteristic of these products? Unlike many other consumer safety recalls, the design defects in these particular products (mostly defective cribs) led to several wrongful deaths.

That said, I am still troubled by a few aspects of the CPSC's press release. One, if the stated goal of the Top Ten List is to garner and focus the public's attention on the unique dangers presented by these particular children's products, then they should say so. And rather than just issue a simple press release, they should broadcast this list all over the news, and post videos on the internet that demonstrate the manifest dangers of these products. Second, if the government went to the trouble of conducting a study roughly ten years ago which assessed whether re-sellers of consumer products were compliant with Federal law barring the re-sale of recalled products, why wasn't a companion study done to assess what measures could be implemented to improve compliance. Wouldn't that have been more important than the first study?
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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