PSES: The Role of Misuse in Consumer Product Safety

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020 Chicago PSES hosted their business meeting followed by a presentation via Skype. There was a total of 38 attendees from across the US. The meeting began with Chair, Harry Jones, discussing business updates and announcements, and was followed by a presentation entitled “The Role of Misuse in Consumer Product Safety.”

The presenter, Joe Mohorovic, CPSM, has a distinguished background as an executive and public servant, operating at the intersection of business and government, culminating in his service as a Commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from 2014 – 2017. A board-certified product safety expert, Joe brings real world product safety experience and insider’s knowledge in both the private and public sectors. Joe currently serves as Sr. Managing Consultant in ESi’s (Engineering Systems, Inc.) Safety and Risk Assessment Practice Group. He specializes in adverse event analysis, regulatory compliance counseling, expert testimony and dispute resolution.

During the presentation attendees learned about the product safety guidelines for suppliers, limits to addressing consumer misuse and mitigating exposure to tort and regulatory risk.

At the conclusion of the presentation it was clear that the effect of consumer misuse in the product liability context is very different than it is in the regulatory context.

Consumer Product Safety - Guidelines for Suppliers

TermDefinition
Foreseeable MisuseImproper or incorrect use of a product that is capable of being known or anticipated in advance, based on a supplier's best knowledge about the product and human behavior
Foreseeable UseUse of a product that is capable of being known or anticipated in advance based on a supplier's best knowledge about the product
Intended UseUse of a product in accordance with information provided by the supplier
Unforeseeable MisuseUse of a product in a manner that a supplier cannot reasonably know or anticipate
ISO 10377:2013(E)