New Legislation Seeks to Protect Consumers Against Dangerous Products
San Jose Dangerous Product Lawyers
Sponsors of the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act are receiving criticism from business interests who claim that new safety-oriented legislation would put too much of a burden on trade. The new bill, introduced by House Democrats, would require foreign manufacturers who import goods into the United States to have a registered agent in the U.S. That agent would be authorized to accept service of process in potential lawsuits, which would make it easier to hold these companies accountable for any defective product they make and import that causes injury.
How Will the Bill Help to Protect Consumers?
Increasing unrest among American manufacturers due to the tough economic climate makes this bill timely on several levels. First, increased accountability for the safety of foreign-made products would help to level the playing field between manufacturers abroad and those producing here in the U.S. Standards here are high, and if a U.S. company makes a product that injures someone, then that company can be sued and required to compensate victims.
Without an official American agent, some foreign manufacturers without a U.S. presence cannot be easily located and served with legal papers. As a result, some unscrupulous manufacturers and/or importers might take advantage of the inequity and turn a blind eye to bringing dangerous products into the United States
Opponents of the bill argue that the cost of compliance with new regulations would inhibit trade, especially for small and medium size businesses. Corporate accountability is vital, however, in protecting consumers against toxic products, faulty infant furniture and childrens toys that contain lead paint or are choking hazards. There may be some expense involved in this type of regulation, but it should not stand in the way or protecting consumers from avoidable hazards.
For more information or assistance with a dangerous product claim, contact our San Jose personal injury attorney John J. Garvey, III. He has over 40 years helping clients throughout California.