Why an Oklahoma family business is fighting the Consumer Product Safety Commission | So Good News


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has set its sights on a small company in Oklahoma. Despite Leachco Inc.’s excellent safety record, the CPSC says its infant sleep pillow is dangerous. But the issues of this organization are aggressive and its actions are against the constitution of this country at every level.

In 1988, Jamie and Clyde Leach started a business in their hometown of Ada, Okla., to help parents deal with the challenges of raising babies and toddlers. Since then, Leachco Inc.’s product lines has grown, leading to the trust of many expectant mothers, families and caregivers.

But the CPSC is threatening the future of the small company with a proposal that, if approved, could cause chaos among manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

To make matters worse, the CPSC is prosecuting all cases domestically. CPSC commissioners vote to initiate action against Leachco; CPSC staff referred the matter to an administrative law judge (ALJ); and the commissioners will review any appeal from the ALJ’s decision. As in the case of the federal government, such internal “lawsuits” are against the ordered parties and deny them their right to a fair hearing in a neutral court.

The Leaches are fighting – to protect their business and their legal rights.

At issue is Podster, a social networking site that Jamie, a registered nurse, created for caregivers to safely protect a baby. The Podster is not a crib and is not designed for sleeping – in fact, as the CPSC itself admits, Leachco always issues warnings and instructions that the Podster should only be used when the infant is awake and an adult is supervising.

Leachco has sold more than 180,000 Podsters since its founding in 2009. The Leaches themselves, and thousands of other families, have used Podsters safely.

But the CPSC says the deaths of two children, one in 2015 and one in 2018, prove it’s unsafe. In both cases, users ignored Leachco’s warnings and common sense.

In one case, day care workers violated state and day care regulations when they placed a baby in a Podster inside a crib and left the baby unattended for an hour and a half. The daycare center lost its license and closed as a result. An infant had been placed in a Podster and then placed on a large bed, between the infant’s parents, along with blankets and pillows, to sleep together – contrary to Leachco’s warnings and instructions.

All of these risks indicate misuse of Podster, not any fault with the product itself. That apparently didn’t matter to the CPSC, which wanted Leachco to recall Podster. According to the CPSC, the Podster poses a “high risk of injury” because it is “obvious” that caregivers will ignore Leachco’s warnings and misuse the Podster.

Under this legal principle, manufacturers and sellers will both be responsible for injuries caused by the consumer’s negligence or willful misuse of a safe product, even when the manufacturer provides warnings and instructions for safe use. Reconsidering the role of these products – based on the “guidance” of the organization – can hinder the technology and close many businesses for false reasons.

Instead of submitting this legal doctrine to an independent judge and jury, the CPSC will independently decide whether the CPSC has proven its case. Essentially, the commission acts as a judge, magistrate, trial judge and appellate judge – which only ensures a biased process.

Indeed, after CPSC commissioners voted to approve Leachco’s action, Commissioner Rich Trumka Jr.

Only after administrative challenges can Leachco appeal to a real trial court. And even then, Leachco’s rights are limited because the agency’s final decisions must receive medical treatment. As a result, the independence of the reviewing court is undermined and Leachco’s right to a hearing before an independent judge is denied.

The Leach family is fighting. Represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, Leachco filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the CPSC’s alleged violations and force the agency to bring its cases to an independent court, unencumbered by findings and legal rulings.

If there is a “danger” in all of this, it is not the Leachco product. It’s the CPSC’s abusive tactics. If the agency is guilty, it must prove it in court before a judge and jury.

Oliver Dunford is a lawyer at Pacific Legal Foundation, a non-profit legal organization that defends the rights of Americans when they are threatened by government tyranny and tyranny. Follow him on Twitter @ojdunford.


Source link