Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All Eyes on the Coming Midnight Regs

"The clock is ticking for lawyers specializing in consumer safety litigation as they wait to see what 'midnight regulations' the Bush administration squeaks through before leaving office in January," anticipated to "offer greater liability protection to manufacturers and less regulation."

The AAJ "is tracking 21 pending consumer safety regulations," and Gerie Voss, director of regulatory affairs for the AAJ, said that if they pass, "You will be looking at thousands of consumers who will be left with no recourse and manufacturers who have the ability to walk away with complete immunity." Of particular concern is the pre-emption language. On a regulation to strengthen vehicle roofs, "plaintiffs lawyers claim the roof strength standards are still too low, and that automakers that meet that rule will be granted complete immunity from all lawsuits." Also, an FDA regulation on updating warning labels regarding the use of prescription drugs during pregnancy and breast-feeding "includes a pre-emption clause, which the AAJ fears will offer drug makers blanket immunity and give injured women no recourse." Read more.

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