California Consumers Protected Under New Law

Here at the Brod Law Firm, we were glad to read about how California assembly member Jared Huffman’s bill: AB 1860, a bill intended to protect consumers, became law on January 1st of this month. Huffman introduced the bill because of his concerns over the fact that recalls by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are on a voluntary basis and do not require retailers to remove dangerous product s from store shelves. Huffman stated, “The federal government’s limited powers of enforcement and voluntary recalls are not enough to protect consumers, especially our children, from the dangers of lead poisoning and other hazards. In the absence of federal laws requiring that hazardous products be removed from store shelves and further circulation, I have introduced AB 1860 to better protect consumers and companies from products that are known to be unsafe. ” This new law also addresses the fact that many recalled products stay in circulation long after the recalls have been announced and that in California there is no system in place to ensure that recalled products are taken off the market. Most importantly, this new law will officially attempt to fix this problem by requiring the immediate removal of recalled products from the market, prohibiting the sale of recalled products and requiring retailers to post recall notices in a conspicuous fashion. Retailers will also be required to notify consumers who have purchased recalled products, if their contact information is available, and manufacturers must also provide a way for the products to be returned to them. Additionally, the law imposes stiff fines against those who sell recalled products to prevent the items from surfacing on the internet or at second-hand stores.
To underscore how much this new law is needed, Huffman referenced a study published in August 2007 in the journal Injury Prevention. In the study 301 thrift stores were examined, and researchers found that 69% were selling at least one hazardous product. The study also found previously recalled products have been associated with child injuries. This new law will now hold manufacturers and retailers accountable for removing dangerous products from the marketplace, which will protect consumers from harming themselves. The CPSC recommends that all resellers check their website at www.cpsc.gov to obtain information on recalled products before taking inventory or selling a product. After defending so many cases related to defective products injuring innocent consumers, we are relieved to hear that an assembly member has made efforts to reduce the future risk of consumer injuries, especially injuries to children.