Beginning in the 1960s and thanks in part to people like Ralph Nader and our partner Bill Davis, consumer safety has been increasingly important to state and federal regulators.
A lead agency for consumer safety at the federal level is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Its charge, according to the agency, is to “protect consumers by promoting the production of safe consumer products and development and implementation of safety standards for manufacturers, focusing on safety early in the supply chain to help prevent hazards from entering consumer markets in the first place. CPSC participates in the development of voluntary safety standards, issues mandatory safety rules, trains industry stakeholders on regulatory requirements and hazard identification best practices, and engages foreign product safety regulators and foreign manufacturers to reduce the production of unsafe consumer products that could enter the U.S. market.”
By all accounts, the agency has benefited of consumers immensely since it was founded in 1972 by directly and significantly reducing deaths, preventing injuries, and improving consumer product safety.
Sadly – President Trump seems determined to weaken the agency’s role while he rolls back and/or eliminates consumer safety regulations.
One of the President’s core beliefs is that companies can be counted on to do the right thing when it comes to product safety – and don’t need to be regulated by the government (tell that to the thousands of victims of defective product injuries annually).
To advance his vision, the President has just nominated Anne Marie Buerkle to Chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Why is that a problem?
Ann Marie Buerkle has served as a commissioner on the CPSC for four years. During that time, she has seldom voted for a mandatory recall, a maximum fine, or a tougher safety standard.
According to Pamela Gilbert, former executive director of the agency, “Ann Marie Buerkle’s record shows she is not the right person to chair the C.P.S.C. All too often, she follows the industry’s wishes at the expense of consumer safety. She opposes meaningful penalties when companies flout the law and she refuses to support regulations that prevent injuries and save lives.”
Will Buerkle be confirmed?
That seems a certainty. Buerkle faces confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Will her appointment make American consumers less safe?
Of that, there is little doubt.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, call a qualified Connecticut product liability lawyer. A knowledgeable product liability attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected. What’s more, our product liability lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of cases like these.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to product liability cases in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you.
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