Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 96

Jail Time for Those Who Knowingly Sell Dangerous Products to the Public

Argument in favor

This bill raises the stakes of producing dangerous products, which will incentivize more careful inspection by companies. This bill will give consumers more confidence that the products they use are safe.

Gwenyth's Opinion
···
05/19/2015
What if the faulty products killed people? GM? And after we bailed them out? They killed Americans and thought it wasn't worth mentioning and certainly not worth doing their job. They know how many welds before the machines need to be manually checked and reset. Those vehicles never should have made it past that point. GM made money by killing people.
Like (5)
Follow
Share
Kevin 's Opinion
···
05/27/2015
Yes that would be considered a crime if someone got hurt
Like (5)
Follow
Share
Alis's Opinion
···
01/23/2016
Unless we intend to return to the 19th century & BUYER BEWARE!, this needs to pass. Of course the threat of a prison term would deter dangerously fraudulent products from being marketed. If you can be taken to court & charged by consumers of your product, the incentive is toward safety!
Like (3)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Threatening people with a prison term won’t make them more likely to report mistakes, it will make them more likely to hide them. We need better inspection methods, not the threat of prison.

ThomasParker's Opinion
···
05/25/2015
We already have an entire judicial system in place to deal with this.
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Curmudgeon's Opinion
···
07/23/2015
No limit on fines, and the very concept of punitive fines at all are a license to run amuck at the government level.
Like (4)
Follow
Share
AndrewGVN's Opinion
···
09/10/2015
A company that allows a dangerous item to be sold often already experience a decline in business already. For example, with Blue Bell, they knew about the listeria in their product, and their business had to shut down for months to get the listeria completely out of their factories. Jail time is to much, but I could see fines and other means of punishment being totally acceptable.
Like (3)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 96?

This bill seeks to improve consumer safety by raising the penalties for knowingly selling dangerous products. Specifically, this bill would make it punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine. 

It also lays out guidelines for who can be prosecuted and why. First, they have to be a business entity or product supervisor affiliated with the product. They have to know that a product is dangerous and they have to go fifteen days without reporting it to a federal agent, warning employees or other people that might be affected.

Seeking retribution — like demoting someone for reporting you — is also punishable under this bill with a fine and up to a year in jail. The bill stipulates that, when a person is found liable under this bill, they have to pay their fine individually, the company can't assume the payment.

Impact

Companies that make potentially dangerous products, product supervisors at companies that make potentially dangerous products, consumers of potentially dangerous products, stores that sell potentially dangerous products.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 96

A CBO estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: Though sponsoring Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) has been kicking this bill around since 2010, last year, it received a boost from the superstar of corporate accountability himself, Ralph Nader. In an op-ed for USA Today, Nader claimed that penalties for people and corporations that knowingly released dangerous products were necessary because they lead to entirely preventable disasters. He wrote:

"In some ways, these disasters are entirely predictable. They are the collision of the drive to maximize profits, weak protections for consumers and the complex reality of modern products in large, diffuse, corporate bureaucracies."

Nader’s op-ed came the week after the details of GM’s recall of the Chevy Cobalt due to a faulty ignition switch. The ignition could cause engine stalls that also shut off the power steering, brakes, anti-lock systems and airbags. They lead to 124 deaths and 274 injuries. According to one GM engineer, the issue arose during testing of the car, which went on sale in 2004.

In-Depth: This bill has no cosponsors. It didn’t when it was introduced in 2014,  2011, or 2010 either. 


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Adam Bartlett)

AKA

Dangerous Products Warning Act

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for the protection of the general public, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 6th, 2015
    Yes that would be considered a crime if someone got hurt
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    We already have an entire judicial system in place to deal with this.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    What if the faulty products killed people? GM? And after we bailed them out? They killed Americans and thought it wasn't worth mentioning and certainly not worth doing their job. They know how many welds before the machines need to be manually checked and reset. Those vehicles never should have made it past that point. GM made money by killing people.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    No limit on fines, and the very concept of punitive fines at all are a license to run amuck at the government level.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    A company that allows a dangerous item to be sold often already experience a decline in business already. For example, with Blue Bell, they knew about the listeria in their product, and their business had to shut down for months to get the listeria completely out of their factories. Jail time is to much, but I could see fines and other means of punishment being totally acceptable.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    They broke the law
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The medical system in America right now is based solely on profit and the only way to alter the free for all is to make it safe for consumers.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Not telling someone and lying to someone is close to the same thing
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless we intend to return to the 19th century & BUYER BEWARE!, this needs to pass. Of course the threat of a prison term would deter dangerously fraudulent products from being marketed. If you can be taken to court & charged by consumers of your product, the incentive is toward safety!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The only way things will change. Stop treating white collar crime and corporate collusion to sell the public dangerous products like they are somehow different kinds of criminals. If CEOs they could spend 20 years in prison (instead of some club fed) for doing this kind of thing, it will slow it down.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Unscrupulous people will always try to dupe the public into buying dangerous, Hazardous items that were completely unsafe even in a testing lab. Increasing the penalties for those who do this increases public safety.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Who will they go after? The mid-level executives that very likely didn't know until it was on the market? Or the engineers working 60 hour weeks? How about we stop answering every problem with a prison sentence.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Too many corporations put profit AHEAD of public safety and health! Yes, they're in business to make money, but the rest of us are the ones who pay the price for their greed and lack of concern for the harm that their products may cause! If people die because of shortcuts in the manufacturing and/or testing process, are you going to call it JUSTIFIABLE homicide?! Or unpremeditated manslaughter?! Or do you consider it "collateral damage"?! Or is it a case of "the needs of the many outweigh the sufferings of the few"?! Do you just shake your head and say you're SORRY for the people who suffer death or disability because you cared more about your company's bottom line?! No one wants to bear any personal responsibility for their sins. It's been that way since Adam and Eve first decided that their desires were more important than God's commandment! And people have paid for that ever since!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Willingly endangering the lives of others is a crime and should be dealt with as such. No question.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    If there is no jail time for this crime; people can likely make enough money selling dangerous products to make it profitable in spite of the fine they are required to pay for their crimes.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Big corporations aren't always the bad guys, but it is true that they are protected from harsh penalties if they commit crimes that are very much illegal. This bill also includes stipulations protecting whistleblowers, which is necessary for a bill like this to pass.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Otherwise would be "Unsafe at Any Speed." My argument is essentially Ralph Nadar's.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is this even a question? Throw the suckers in prison for at least 10 yrs.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely, follow the chain up to who made the decision. Then things will change
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    It would be great if this would also affect gun manufacturers.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE