Consumer Protection Laws and Agencies

A number of federal and state decrees, regulations, and safety orders regarding the different products may be helpful in sustaining a product liability claims.  Proving that a defendant has violated an applicable regulation provides the plaintiff an exceptional advantage. Furthermore, the legislation like Consumer Products Safety Act can be used to give a direct civil action by an injured consumer.

There are also some particular federal statutes that address to products like automobile equipment, aircraft, insecticides, boats and boating equipment, hazardous substances and solutions, medical devices, highway safety, household refrigerators, packaging to safeguard children, motor vehicles, mobile homes, natural gas pipelines, and occupational safety and health.

The following is a list of agencies your lawyer can consult regarding the regulations they set and services they give:

  • US Consumer Products Safety Commission is an autonomous federal agency which aims at reducing the injuries to consumers. The Commission releases consumer product safety warnings and can provide you with useful information about your claims.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is an authority in the air, water, and pesticide standards, releases publications on these topics.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA issues many regulations and brochures on workplace safety and health standards, regarding the use of industrial substances, and safety in industrial and construction operations.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration creates, develops, and releases safety standards for all new vehicles, does research about accident prevention, investigates motor vehicle defects and imposes notifications of defects to manufacturers or owners of record. There have been many publications that were already produced by the Administration for customers and their lawyers.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration institutes the standards for foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical services, and provides information regarding drug ingredients and food and drug manufacturing procedures.
  • The Transportation Research Board conducts a computerized search and provides abstracts of all the engineering articles regarding the highway topics.
  • The Federal Highway Administration deals with improving highway safety and conducts highway safety research about trucks and busses.
  • The United States Coast Guard established standards, conducts factory inspections, make investigations of the customer complaints regarding defective boats. The Coast Guard informs the boat owners when defects are detected and discovered.
  • State police or highway patrols provide information about the regulations about the use and equipment of motor vehicles.
  • Most of the state fire marshals issue fire safety standards and fundamental building design and construction standards.

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