CPSIA and Product Liability…Toi, Toi, Toi!

Walter Olson of the Manhattan Institute continues his much-needed commentary and linking on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its rapidly approaching effective dates. From Point of Law:

The CPSIA product-safety law — which I’ve been writing on heavily at Overlawyered as well as at Forbes — is mostly conspicuous as an example of overregulation of an almost insanely zealous and overreaching variety. But the law also has important implications for product liability litigation, which are naturally negative for defendants and positive for plaintiffs (as one would expect of a law promoted by Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, etc.). Kenneth Ross at Products Liability Prof Blog has a detailed and newly updated paper (PDF) on the subject. And William Ruskin at Epstein Becker’s Toxic Tort Litigation Blog foresees that the new database/registry of consumer product safety complaints established by the law (covering products generally, not just those for children) will be open to abuse and manipulation.

Business groups raised all these issues prior to passage of the legislation last year, but the political pressure for action, any action, in the wake of the Chinese lead-in-toys scandals led to overwhelming enactment of an overreaching bill.

Repent at leisure? But meanwhile…

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