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Practice Area

Product Safety

Product Safety
©2021 Keller and Heckman LLP

Whether products are in the initial design or manufacturing stage, clearing customs, heading to market, or in the end customer’s hands, ensuring that they are safe for use is crucial to our clients’ reputation and financial success. Keller and Heckman’s Product Safety team members are known for providing corporate and association clients with practical compliance and strategic advice on product safety compliance and liability protection, whether products are intended for business or consumer use. Our unique combination of deep regulatory experience and access to a team of in-house scientists enables us to advise clients on a wide range of product safety and liability issues, such as evaluating the safety of chemical ingredients in products (including products intended for children), conducting risk assessments, advocating before legislative and regulatory bodies on product safety standards, and, when needed, representing clients in enforcement matters or product liability litigation, often involving complex issues of chemistry, toxicity, or flammability. 

Our clients include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, private labelers, and trade associations. We help clients navigate compliance, enforcement, and rulemaking issues before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other safety agencies, and work with them to manage and reduce product liability and regulatory compliance risks under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). We assist clients in identifying applicable standards that might apply to a particular product and in determining if their products comply with those standards, including those developed by standard-setting bodies such as the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the International Organization for Standards (ISO). We are often active participants in the development of safety standards and guides through third-party voluntary standards organizations.
 

Representative Matters

  • Advised clients on regulatory reporting obligations and strategies
  • Assisted clients in conducting recalls and coordinating recall strategies globally
  • Developed product safety compliance training materials and conducted mock recalls
  • Represented clients in administrative enforcement proceedings
  • Advised connected product company on product safety, advertising, and privacy/data security requirements for a novel product
  • Participated in development of national voluntary guidelines for connected products, focused on product safety implications of connectivity
  • Assisted client in conducting global assessment of chemical restrictions affecting its products

 

Areas of Focus

Preparing and updating product safety and liability programs and assisting clients in auditing compliance

Reviewing instructions, product labels and formulas, manuals, installation and service guides, and advertising

Advising on product ingredients and counseling clients on how to incorporate regulatory compliance requirements and safety specifications in their product liability risk management programs

Advising on reporting obligations under the Consumer Product Safety Act, the European Product Safety Directive, and other laws
 

Advising clients on developing warnings and instructions; reviewing advertising to be sure that adequate substantiation exists for safety, quality and performance claims; and verifying that advertising claims are consistent with warnings and instructions

Advising on domestic and global recall strategies

Evaluating applicability of standards to specific products; participating in standards development initiatives; and assessing product liability and antitrust aspects of standard development activities
 

Representing clients in administrative enforcement actions and in state and federal courts
 

Preparing and reviewing contracts to minimize product liability exposure, including trademark licensing agreements and evaluating warranty and indemnification provisions of contracts

Advocating on rulemaking and proposed legislation affecting product safety; advising on legislative strategy; and participating in standards development activities before national and international standard-setting organizations 

Partner

Senior Counsel

David G. Sarvadi
Senior Counsel

Counsel

Steven Michael (Mike) Gentine
Counsel

Associate

Anushka N. Rahman
Associate

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