Liz McNulty is a mother of four smalls and another one about to arrive. She is also one of my law partners and a widely respected, very effective products liability litigator. Liz also helps me spot the legal stories with crossover appeal to my radio show. She has been assisting me in understanding, for example, the vast dislocations brought about by the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act's absurd demands on manufacturers of products intended for use by children which led to the destruction of countless small businesses and hundreds of millions in wasted inventory and sunk costs. Liz advises companies on how to deal with the Consumer Products Safety Commission and its staff and rules, and how to respond to plaintiffs' lawyers threatening or bring actions allegedly related to those rules. (I have written about CPSIA here and here and National Association of Manufacturer's Shopfloor blog provides constant updates on the law.)
Liz is about 9 months along in her pregnancy, but she found enough time on Monday to alert me to a story that is forming. "Get ready for the deluge of suits against food manufacturers," she told me. "The FDA is setting them all up for private plaintiffs' actions by the trial lawyers bar."
I mentioned the story in passing on Tuesday's radio program --the "Fruit Loops" story, I called it-- and like clockwork it appeared in Wednesday's Washington Post under the heading "FDA seeks better nutrition labeling: Pursuit of standards comes as foodmakers set up own systems."