With Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle’s earlier announcement  that she will leave the CPSC this fall, this month the commissioners elected Commissioner Robert Adler as the new acting chairman. Adler has been affiliated with the CPSC for more than 40 years. He has served as a commissioner since 2009 and previously served as the acting chairman from December 2013 through July 2014.

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: September

New Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) reporting requirements took effect September 25, 2019. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently made changes to the HSR form. Retail clients exploring a merger or acquisition should be aware that the FTC requires updated codes for Item 5 of the HSR form. Clients will need to provide 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and 10-digit North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) codes when reporting manufacturing revenues. The FTC will require 2017 NAICS codes for reporting non-manufacturing revenues.

As reported in our previous client alert, on September 6, 2019, the staff in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) announced important changes to the Division’s process for administering Rule 14a-8 no-action requests regarding shareholder proposals. Specifically, the staff may respond orally rather than in writing to no-action requests. Moreover, the staff may decide not to take a position on the merits of certain requests, thus leaving to the company the decision of whether to include or exclude the shareholder proposal.

Continue Reading

This month serves as a reminder to manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers that consumer products carry strong liability risks when they pose risks of serious injury or death. Steps should be taken to reduce that liability, including the issuance of alerts and recalls to remove the products from the stream of commerce.

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: August

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed the first penalty for violations of its new rule limiting formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products just over one year after the rule became effective. The $544,064 penalty assessed against construction product supplier Global Sourcing Solutions, a Division of Turner Logistics, LLC (Global Sourcing Solutions), comes as part of a consent agreement between EPA and the company, which will also be required to implement a corrective action plan.

Continue Reading EPA Imposes $544,064 Penalty for 17 Noncompliant Products in First Formaldehyde Enforcement Action

On August 8, 2019, the SEC proposed rules that would revise disclosures for Regulation S-K Item 101 (description of business), Item 103 (legal proceedings) and Item 105 (risk factors), in an effort to make disclosures more useful for investors and make compliance easier for registrants.

Continue Reading SEC Proposes Modernized Business, Legal Proceedings and Risk Factor Disclosures Under Regulation S-K

In a recent article in the ABA Business Law Section publication Business Law Today, Hunton Andrews Kurth insurance attorneys Syed Ahmad and Geoffrey Fehling discuss several important D&O insurance coverage issues that can have far-reaching implications with retailers and other businesses involved in mergers, acquisitions, and other M&A deals. In the article, the authors discuss the intersection of M&A and insurance and how those transactions can impact the potential risks and protections afforded by D&O and other insurance policies. A copy of the article can be found here.

As reported in an August 27, 2019 client alert by the Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation practice, on August 23, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated 20 chemicals commonly found in consumer products as “high priorities” for risk evaluation and possible regulation. EPA’s identification of these chemicals comes under the authority conferred by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 to give EPA new powers to review and regulate chemicals.

Continue Reading

Citing its potentially outdated 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on US Origin Claims, the Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will hold a half-day workshop in its DC offices on Made in USA advertising on September 26, 2019. Among other things, the agency is seeking input on how consumers interpret Made in USA claims, what the costs and benefits are of the FTC’s “all or virtually all” standard for unqualified claims, whether its current requirement that 85 percent of costs must be attributable to the United States to make an unqualified claim and whether firms that advertise their products as “Made in USA” charge higher prices than their competitors whose products are not advertised in this way. The FTC also will explore how the agency should address deceptive US origin claims made to US consumers on third-party platforms by firms with no US presence. The FTC will accept comments on the topic through October 11, 2019.