Traps For the Unwary Under the Consumer Product Safety Act: Children’s Products

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Nestled in the morass known as the Consumer Product Safety Act (as amended by the dubiously titled Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and further amended in 2011) are provisions that can wreak havoc for businesses that manage, understandably, to overlook them. What was once a rather straightforward reporting and recall system involving a...

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Report, Recall, or Both: Do You Know Your Obligations Under the Consumer Product Safety Act?

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Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products have a legal obligation to report hazardous or dangerous products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”).  Failing to do so may result not only in large civil penalties, but also criminal prosecution.  But, there are many common myths and misconceptions about this reporting requirement and how...

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The Summer of Privacy: With the Government Under Fire, Retailers May Overlook New Rules and Risks

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This may one day be known as the Summer of Privacy. From claims that the NSA surreptitiously obtains cellphone (and GPS) information from at least 100,000,000 Americans to the Supreme Court blessing routine collection of DNA evidence from arrestees, it is impossible to avoid almost daily stories on governmental privacy issues. But, don’t be fooled by...

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Meditations On the Consumer Class Action: Statutory Penalties

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To know the consumer class action is to fear it. Any online marketer or other retailer that has gone through a class action lawsuit – even if it prevails in the end – no doubt has scars and legal bills to show for it. Because the stakes are so high, even winning a class action...

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Beyond California and Massachusetts: Will Collecting Zip Codes Invite Class Actions Across the United States?

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Although California and Massachusetts have stolen the spotlight with high profile cases banning zip code collection in connection with credit card purchases, thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. With voracious class action attorneys circling, it is critical for retailers to know their legal obligations in these jurisdictions and, if necessary,...

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The Perils of Zip Code Collection Reach Massachusetts

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On March 11, 2013, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts joined California in prohibiting the collection and retention of customer zip codes by retailers in connection with credit card transactions. In Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., the Court based its decision on Massachusetts General Law ch. 93, § 105(a), which provides that retailers cannot “write, cause...

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