Today’s post comes from guest author Edgar Romano, from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.
Dangerous toys remain a serious problem, even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission has focused on banning unsafe toys since the CPSC was created 45 years ago, thanks to repeated warnings by attorneys focused on consumer safety.
But the CPSC and its power to recall dangerous toys are now under attack, according to New York attorney Matt Funk, president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and a partner at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP.
Last year, 240,000 people were hurt by dangerous toys, according to CPSC statistics. The CPSC also issued 28 voluntary recalls for dangerous toys, according to the CPSC. But since the recalls are voluntary, many dangerous toys remain in households throughout the country.
That’s why attorneys play such a vital role in removing dangerous toys from the marketplace. Examples of dangerous toys that attorneys have pressured the CPSC to recall include:
- Magnetic toy containing toxic magnets fatal to children.
- Toy crime fighting kit containing asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.
“With the prospect of the federal government reducing its already inadequate consumer protection activities, the task of defending the public will once again fall on consumers. And their lawyers,” Funk wrote in the New York Law Journal.
The power of the CPSC is under attack in two major ways. First, President Trump has proposed cutting the CPSC’s budget by 17 percent, according to The New York Times. Second, Trump has nominated attorney Dana Baiocco to run the CPSC, according to the New York Daily News. Baiocco has reportedly “represented companies accused of selling dangerous and defective products—including toy manufacturer Mattel when it was facing lawsuits because of lead in its products… Can consumers be sure that she will be looking out for them the next time a company is accused of selling a dangerous product,” Funk wrote.
“As lawyers, we have a special opportunity to make sure the toys and other products on the store shelves are safe,” Funk added.