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As a member of the firm’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, Brandan represents clients in the defense and prosecution of cases involving product liability, transportation matters, complex commercial litigation, construction law, insurance law and personal injury. He has focused extensively on product liability cases involving fires and explosions as well as on toxic tort matters.

Philadelphia County has long been a preferred forum for plaintiffs’ bar in Pennsylvania. Until last week, a motion to dismiss for improper venue under Pa. R. Civ. P. 1028(a)(1) was a tool at the disposal of any corporate defendant improperly entangled into Philadelphia County litigation. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Hangey v. Husqvarna, 14 EAP 2022 (Pa. Nov. 22, 2023, Dougherty, J.) may have effectively foreclosed improper venue dismissal except for those defendants who conduct no business in Philadelphia County whatsoever.

I was privileged to serve once again as a contributing editor on our firm’s Legal Insights for Manufacturing report, published yesterday. This was our second-annual report, and it contains some great information and perspectives on the challenges that manufacturers will need to tackle throughout the coming year, including product liability, safety, and marketing, as well

We are pleased to announce that Husch Blackwell has published its inaugural “Legal Insights for Manufacturing” report, which provides a look ahead to 2023 and explores the key trends and issues that will shape the coming year for the manufacturing industry.

The President swore in a new face to the Commission for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on June 30, 2022. Mary T. Boyle, however, is not an entirely new face as she served in various positions within the CPSC for more than a decade. She formerly served in various leadership rules, including CPSC’s Executive Director from 2018 before being confirmed as the new Commissioner. Ms. Boyle also served as CPSC’s Senior Counselor for Policy and Planning, General Counsel, and Deputy General Counsel.

Around the time that much of the United States was beginning to shut down in response to COVID-19, President Trump nominated Dr. Nancy B. Beck for Commissioner and Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A review of Dr. Beck’s education and background shows that the vast majority of her career – over 15 years – has been spent in public service. Yet Dr. Beck’s nomination has been met with criticism of her roughly five years as a Director at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). For instance, the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued a press release which highlighted Dr. Beck’s time at the ACC and claimed that Dr. Beck was “doing the bidding of the chemical industry at the expense of the health and safety of the American public.” Likewise, the Washington Post and New York Times headlined articles about Dr. Beck with a description of her as a “chemical industry executive.” While it may be expected that Dr. Beck’s detractors would focus on her time at the ACC, media characterizations of her as a “chemical industry executive” do not accurately describe the whole of her professional efforts.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a statement regarding the Commission’s efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Though short, the statement makes clear that the CPSC is working to maximize technology to continue its work while also encouraging businesses to continue to report potentially unsafe products. The CPSC stated that it is

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) continues to seek significant civil penalties from companies that fail to “immediately” report potential product safety problems in a timely fashion. The newest installment in this trend occurred when CPSC announced a $4.5 million civil penalty against PetSmart. CPSC stated that, between 2011 and 2014, “PetSmart received at least 19 reports of fish bowls cracking, breaking, or shattering during normal use, resulting in serious injuries to consumers in at least 12 cases.” However, CPSC went on to say that the company failed to “immediately notify CPSC of the defect or risk posed by the fish bowls.”  Moreover, CPSC claims that the company “failed to identify the correct amount and distribution dates of the fish bowls” during the initial recall of the product.

Under Federal law, once a reporting requirement arises under the Consumer Product Safety Act, it must be reported to CPSC “immediately” or within 24 hours of discovery.

The product originally sold in stores for approximately $20.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced  nine (9) recalls during the week of February 15, 2016. The announcements include two different recalls on the basis of the potential for exposure to mold.  The following is a list of those recalls with links to the respective announcements from CPSC.

  1. Paper boxes recalled due to presence of mold

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced six (6) recalls during the week of February 8, 2016. The announcements include a recall of propane gas which lacked sufficient odorant to warn consumers of a leak.  The following is a list of those recalls with links to the respective announcements from CPSC.

  1. Snowmobile recalled due to brake