A consumer advisory issued on June 1, 2020 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarifies which hard-surface disinfectant products may legally make claims regarding expected efficacy against the COVID-19 virus.
Continue Reading EPA Warns Against Potentially False and Misleading COVID-19 Disinfectant Claims

On May 6, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held oral argument in William P. Barr, et al. v. American Association of Political Consultants, et al., No. 19-631 (Nov. 14, 2019).
Continue Reading Have We Seen the End of the TCPA? Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Regarding the Constitutionality of the TCPA

On April 21, the FTC announced a record-setting $9.3 million settlement with online retailer Fashion Nova for violating the decades-old Mail Order Rule by failing to meet advertised shipping times and failing to adequately compensate consumers affected by the delays.
Continue Reading Will It Still be “In” When It Gets Here? Online Fashion Retailer Agrees to Largest Ever Settlement for Slow Deliveries

The City of Los Angeles joined San Diego County and issued an Order that requires certain workers to wear cloth face coverings.
Continue Reading The City of Los Angeles Orders Face Coverings for Certain Workers and Customers, and Requires Certain Employers to Provide Them

On April 3, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and leading retailers participated in a conference call to discuss ways to protect American consumers from fraudulent COVID-19 disinfectant product claims. As the pandemic continues to wage on, some manufacturers have started to advertise their products as effective against the virus despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting the claim. Such advertising violates federal law and potentially endangers consumer health and the environment, and could expose retailers to liability.
Continue Reading Retailers Working with EPA to Protect Consumers from Fraudulent COVID-19 Disinfectant Claims

On March 30, 2020, the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) issued its long-awaited draft risk evaluation for asbestos. In it, EPA preliminarily concludes that certain uses of asbestos pose unreasonable risks to human health. If those conclusions are made final, EPA will issue regulations addressing those risks in what would arguably be the most significant action the agency has taken to regulate asbestos since its 1989 ban was successfully challenged by industry groups.
Continue Reading EPA Sets Stage for Future Asbestos Regulations in New Draft Risk Evaluation

Williams-Sonoma, Inc., has agreed to pay $1 million to the FTC in settlement of claims that the home furnishing company made false and unsubstantiated representations that certain products were made in the United States. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Williams-Sonoma—also doing business as Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation, Outward, Mark & Graham and other brands—deceptively claimed that the company’s Goldtouch Bakeware products, Rejuvenation-branded products and Pottery Barn Teen- and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture were made in the USA. In reality, many of these products were wholly imported or contained significant imported materials.
Continue Reading Home Furnishings Retailer to Pay FTC $1 Million to Settle “Made in the USA” Claims

In a favorable decision for retailers, a California federal court judge scaled back a proposed class action seeking to bring nationwide class claims. Plaintiff Todd Carpenter alleged that he bought a rodent habitat at a California PetSmart and that the habitat was defective in such a way that his rodents were able to chew through and escape. He filed a class action in the US District Court for the Southern District of California for violations of California consumer protection laws, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and common law fraud. The plaintiff sought to represent a nationwide class consisting of all purchasers of the rodent habitat along with a California subclass. PetSmart moved to strike the nationwide class on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over PetSmart with respect to the nationwide class.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Scales Back Nationwide Class Claims in Case of Escaping Gerbils