Numerous reporting requirements are in place to notify consumers of product defects and pull hazardous items from the market. Unfortunately, these systems do not always work as they should.
One example of this is something called Section 37.
What is Section 37?
Broadly, Section 37 is a federal law that is supposed to be a safety net in protecting people from defective products. Under this law, companies must notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission when parties file a lawsuit against them, citing severe injury or death.
The intention of the legislation is to alert CPSC of potentially dangerous products that may not be reported otherwise, allowing them to intervene in ways like banning and recalling unsafe goods.
Significant gaps in legislative safety net
However, a recent investigation by Consumer Reports highlights the numerous issues with Section 37. Problems include:
- Parties must notify CPSC only after settling three lawsuits in favor of victims
- Resolution of cases within two years
- Widespread unfamiliarity with these reporting requirements
The rigid restrictions and ignorance of the law mean that companies rarely make a report to CPSC; just two companies have even been cited for failing to file reports.
As a result, people continue to suffer catastrophic injuries or fatalities from unsafe products that have hurt or killed people before.
Legal solutions when others fail
Despite the various legal measures that should protect people, consumers still suffer the consequences of a product defective in design, manufacturing or marketing. Further, they can present legal headaches that injured victims confront during an already tumultuous time.
While these complications can be frustrating, victims and families still have legal options in place. One such option is to pursue a lawsuit against parties responsible for defective products. Even if other measures fail, a legal claim can help you pursue the accountability and compensation you may deserve.