Product safety is a major cause for concern at both the local and federal levels. The makers of consumer products have an obligation under the law to produce items that are safe for their intended use. It is unfortunate that many manufacturers ignore these rules and allow substandard items to reach customers.

The federal government has a stake in preventing this from occurring. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) authorizes the government to investigate incidents involving the manufacture of unsafe products and to enforce federal regulations. Regulators under the CPSIA often rely on ordinary citizens or employees of companies to serve as whistleblowers. Blowing the whistle on illegal activity is not only the right thing to do but can also result in a substantial reward. A Columbia product safety whistleblower lawyer could help you determine if you have information that is relevant to product safety and protect your rights when coming forward.

The Obligations of Companies Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

The federal government has made great strides in improving consumer safety over the past hundred years. A significant upgrade in child safety occurred when Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008. This set of laws created new standards concerning the presence of harmful substances in consumer products, improved rules for tracking labels, and created new rules relating to imported goods. The current regulations require the makers of child products to:

  • Comply with child product safety rules
  • Submit their products to inspection by a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved laboratory
  • Obtain a certificate speaking to the product’s compliance
  • Have permanent tracking information on the product and packaging

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has the authority to investigate and punish violators of these laws. Even so, it often relies on whistleblowers to come forward with information about apparent violations. A Columbia whistleblower attorney could provide more information about federal product safety laws and help people gather information about alleged violations.

Protecting Whistleblowers and Seeking Out Fair Compensation

Federal law recognizes that many people with information about apparent violations may feel intimidated about coming forward. Especially if they are employees of a company that is violating the law, they may fear reprisal for whistleblowing.

Because of this, federal law prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers and others who cooperate with CPSC investigations. 15 United States Code § 2087 states that it is illegal for the makers of products to discharge or otherwise punish employees who provide information to the CPSC. In addition, people who experience this retaliation can seek compensation for their losses. A product safety attorney in Columbia could help protect the rights of whistleblowers.

Seeking Rewards Through Writs of Qui Tam

While being a whistleblower is undoubtedly the right thing to do, it can also come with financial benefits. Federal law allows whistleblowers to seek out compensation for their information through the process called Qui Tam.

In short, if a person provides information that is new to the CPSC and that information results in a conviction, the whistleblower can receive a percentage of the funds recovered in the case. This may rise to as much as 30 percent of the recovered money. An attorney could help submit these writs along with an initial provision of information.

Contact a Columbia Product Safety Whistleblower Attorney Today

All people have the right to expect the products they buy to be safe for their intended use. This is especially true in children’s products, where kids may not have the ability to recognize danger. Sadly, manufacturers may choose to ignore federal laws mandating the safe creation of items. When this happens, a whistleblower may be the best person to set things right.

Whistleblowers enjoy significant protection under the law. They may also be able to demand a reward for their information. A Columbia product safety whistleblower lawyer could help you build your formal submission of information and prepare a writ of Qui Tam. They could also shield you from any potential retaliation. Reach out to the Law Office of Bill Nettles to schedule a consultation with one of the most experienced whistleblower attorneys in South Carolina.

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