Recent Court Order Impacting Window Covering Safety

Recent developments in the window covering industry have sparked discussions about child safety and the impact of regulatory decisions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision to grant a motion by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) to stay the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) rule has significant implications for window covering safety standards. Let’s explore the implications of the court’s order and its potential impact on child safety and the window covering industry.

Understanding the Court’s Order:

On January 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted WCMA’s motion to stay the CPSC’s rule, A Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Windows, pending judicial review. This means that the CPSC’s rule will not take effect while the case is pending in the D.C. Circuit. The court’s order highlighted that WCMA demonstrated a likelihood of ultimately succeeding in the case, meeting the stringent requirements for a stay pending review.

WCMA’s Challenge to the CPSC Rule:

WCMA filed a lawsuit on November 30, 2022, challenging the CPSC rule, arguing that it does not significantly advance child safety and overlooks the decline in safety incidents since the voluntary standard has been in effect. Additionally, WCMA raised concerns about the substantial cost increase to consumers and the potential harm to small businesses and the commercial market for custom window coverings, without concrete evidence suggesting that these products pose a risk.

The Stay Motion’s Rationale:

One of the primary reasons for filing the stay motion was the CPSC’s adoption of a six-month effective date for the rule. This could have led to the removal of proven safe products from the market before the industry had sufficient time to develop new, safer alternatives. The CPSC staff acknowledged that the industry would require at least two years to develop entirely new products.

The Future Proceedings:

Over the coming months, WCMA and the CPSC will present their arguments in briefs to the court, with the D.C. Circuit subsequently holding oral arguments. The court’s final decision will shape the future of window covering safety standards and regulations.

The Window Covering Industry’s Commitment to Safety:

While the CPSC’s rule remains stayed, the window covering industry continues to adhere to the provisions of the current window covering safety standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018. An updated safety standard, recently approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), strengthens window-covering safety by mandating cordless designs or inaccessible/short cords for the vast majority of window covering products sold in the United States. This revised standard has significantly reduced incidents, promoted innovation, and enhanced product safety within the industry.

The Impact:

At OnderLaw, we understand the importance of child safety and commend the efforts to enhance window covering safety standards. The recent court order and the ongoing proceedings offer an opportunity for a thorough examination of the CPSC rule and its impact on child safety and industry stakeholders. As advocates for the wellbeing of our clients and their families, we will closely monitor the developments in this case and keep you informed.

Child safety is a collective responsibility, and it is our duty to ensure that every product in our homes is designed with safety in mind. As the case progresses, we encourage manufacturers, industry leaders, and regulatory bodies to work collaboratively to find the best solutions that prioritize child safety without compromising product innovation and industry growth. Together, we can create a safer environment for our little ones to explore and thrive. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, OnderLaw is here to to advocate for your fair compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.