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Provisions in law may protect some makers of dangerous products

Consumers understandably assume that the items they purchase are tested and approved for the intended use. However, in spite of the efforts of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a little-known provision that protects makers of potentially dangerous products from public disclosure. Texas residents who have been harmed by a defective product may be unaware that similar incidents may be linked to that item.

Parents are cautious about the types of products they use when caring for their children, especially helpless infants. Sadly, before Fisher Price recalled its line of inclined sleepers referred to as the Rock 'N Play, several children died through suffocation. Though the CPSC is charged with ensuring public safety, there is a section of the Consumer Product Safety Act that works to ensure the privacy of manufacturers -- possibly for years. When Consumer Reports conducted its own investigation into these types of inclined infant sleepers, it discovered that approximately 30 children had died. 

This portion of the Consumer Product Safety Act, referred to as Section-6B, states that the identity of the manufacturer cannot be revealed without permission, even when serious injuries or deaths may be linked to their product. Through this section, Ikea was able to avoid publicity for years about the dangers posed by its dressers that were eventually recalled. Likewise, a popular jogging stroller sold through BOB Gear took approximately seven years to provide a possible correction for its product that had been linked to nearly 100 injuries. 

Consumer Reports allege that the Consumer Product Safety Commission was aware of the dangers posed by both the dressers and the strollers but was unable to act due Section 6B. The consumer advocacy group is calling for the provision to be eliminated from the law in order to ensure the safety of consumers. Texas residents who are harmed by a dangerous product may have a basis for pursuing recovery of the damages they sustained through a personal injury lawsuit.

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