One of the most significant changes resulting from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is the creation of a searchable database (Section 212) for consumers. This one change could significantly impact a company’s reputation and product liability litigation.
The CPSC is required to establish an online consumer-accessible searchable database by October, 2010. The information provided will identify product and manufacturer names, and reports of deaths and injuries caused by the unsafe product. In order to make sure that no information on the website is materially incorrect or trade secrets are not exposed, manufacturers will be allowed to review and comment on the information before it is posted on the database.
This one change should help U.S. importers and distributors of foreign products to identify problematic foreign manufactures. This will reduce the number of unsafe products brought into the U.S. It may also increase Product Liability litigation. U.S. consumers will be able to identify more easily whether the product in question has a history of or potential for harm, which is highly relevant to their Product Liability lawsuit.
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