Consumer Product Safety Quotes

The class-action bill would open a happy hunting preserve to ambitious lawyers with a quick eye for the plump bird. They are not likely to be much concerned with fraud in the ghetto: No money there. But has a major manufacturer gotten a little too exuberant in his advertising? Has he promised a ‘benefit’ that may not be fully deliverable? Well, then, let us find 10 customers ready to say they’ve been damaged, and let us sue in the name of 10,000 more.

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James Kilpatrick, Chamber of Commerce Newsletter. August, 1970.
341908/01/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Class Action Jurisdiction Act

[L]egal costs alone of defending against class actions will impact disproportionately on small enterprises which rarely have the resources to employ the staff counsel uniformly found among larger companies.

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William B. Norris, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee,” Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations.

The class action concept is misdirected and does not meet the overriding need of establishing a workable method to prevent frauds and deceptions. At best, class actions are only remedial to the consumer. At worst, they are a deceptive promise of prevention which the consumer is unlikely to see fulfilled. This is especially true of the low-income consumer who is the typical prey of unscrupulous operators, particularly in inner-city areas.

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William B. Norris, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee,” Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations.

Class actions constitute a grave economic hazard to business—and the magnitude of the threat is likely to be in inverse relationship to the size of the business. Indeed, the effects on small businesses would be particularly catastrophic if not fatal.

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William B. Norris, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee,” Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations.

The truly attractive targets would be the overwhelming majority of businesses which are honest, ethical, and legitimate—large companies because of their assets and small merchants because of their vulnerabilities.

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William B. Norris, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee,” Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations.
341603/18/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Class Action Jurisdiction Act

[W]e believe that voluntary progress has been sufficient to warrant a continued extension of the legislative moratorium on warranties and guarantees. We believe that business should, and will, act to implement the ‘full disclosure’ warranties statement adopted last year by the Chamber.

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A.S. Yohalem, Chamber of Commerce Presentations to Congress

To the extent that [this legislation] seeks to make varying warranties fit into identical standards, it discourages competitive diversity from coming into play, and to that extent fails to serve the interests of either consumers or business.

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A.S. Yohalem, Chamber of Commerce Presentations to Congress

These bills, if enacted, will have a profound impact upon this great industry. Unwise legislation in this field could produce repercussions which would be felt throughout the country’s economy. I am confident that the Congress will exercise great care before taking any action which would seriously disrupt this important industry….We are strongly opposed to these bills. We do not believe that any governmental action is necessary or called for with respect to cigarette advertising or labeling.

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Bowman Gray Jr., chairman of R. J. Reynolds’ board.

If there is to be a caution notice….It should be stated in a way which reflects the lack of definitive clinical and laboratory scientific evidence on the relationship between smoking and health.

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Bowman Gray Jr., chairman of R. J. Reynolds’ board.

With respect to cigarettes, cautionary labeling cannot be anticipated to serve the public interest with any particular degree of success. The health hazards of excessive smoking have been well-publicized for more than ten years and are common knowledge…

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Letter from Dr. F.J.L. Blasingame, AMA Executive Vice President, to the FTC’s division of trade regulation rules.

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