Dangerous household appliances lurk in our kitchens. Defective brakes and tires may be outfitting our cars and pickup trucks. Poorly designed children’s toys may present choking hazards. Not all of our products are safe, though most are. The federal agency responsible for ensuring product safety is the aptly named U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It issues recalls and works throughout the country and here in Oklahoma to keep us safe from manufacturers taking shortcuts. While thousands of people are still injured every year by unsafe products, accounting for $1 trillion in economic damages per year according to the CPSC, thousands more could be injured or killed if future changes to the CPSC are made.
New Nominee for CPSC Spent Career Defending Negligent Corporations
The Trump Administration’s nominee for CPSC commissioner, Dana Baiocco, has had a successful career defending big tobacco as well as fighting against workers who had developed mesothelioma, a deadly and incurable type of cancer, that is caused by long time asbestos exposure in the workplace, as reported by The Intercept. She has also spent much of her successful career defending ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) manufacturer Yamaha against multiple lawsuits in which victims had sustained serious and life threatening injuries. In fact 59 people have died while driving the vehicle in question, the Rhino, due to rollovers and other accidents. Baiocco successfully argued that Yamaha did not have “sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations” that the vehicle is unsafe, and Yamaha has continued making and selling the ATV while countless more have become injured.
Dangers of Politicising the CPSC
This has not been the first time that the CPSC has become politicized in favor of big business over every day consumers. During George W. Bush Administration in 2005, the CPSC tested children’s lunchboxes, finding hazardous levels of lead and up to 16 times the federal limit in some. Instead of taking action and saving lives by taking those lunch boxes off the shelves and issuing strict penalties against the manufacturers, the CPSC just changed (weakened) its testing methods, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Reach Out to an Attorney
Whether you have been injured by an unsafe product or a loved one was hurt or killed because of a manufacturer’s negligence, we urge you to take action today. Contact the Tulsa law firm of Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP today for assistance.