The Commission may file in a United States district court an action (1) against an imminently hazardous consumer product for seizure of such product under subsection (b)(2) of this section, or (2) against any person who is a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of such product, or (3) against both. Such an action may be filed notwithstanding the existence of a consumer product safety rule applicable to such product, or the pendency of any administrative or judicial proceedings under any other provision of this chapter. As used in this section, and hereinafter in this chapter, the term “imminently hazardous consumer product” means a consumer product which presents imminent and unreasonable risk of death, serious illness, or severe personal injury.
(1) The district court in which such action is filed shall have jurisdiction to declare such product an imminently hazardous consumer product, and (in the case of an action under subsection (a)(2) of this section) to grant (as ancillary to such declaration or in lieu thereof) such temporary or permanent relief as may be necessary to protect the public from such risk. Such relief may include a mandatory order requiring the notification of such risk to purchasers of such product known to the defendant, public notice, the recall, the repair or the replacement of, or refund for, such product.
(2) In the case of an action under subsection (a)(1) of this section, the consumer product may be proceeded against by process of libel for the seizure and condemnation of such product in any United States district court within the jurisdiction of which such consumer product is found. Proceedings and cases instituted under the authority of the preceding sentence shall conform as nearly as possible to proceedings in rem in admiralty.
Where appropriate, concurrently with the filing of such action or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the Commission shall initiate a proceeding to promulgate a consumer product safety rule applicable to the consumer product with respect to which such action is filed.
(1) An action under subsection (a)(2) of this section may be brought in the United States district court for the District of Columbia or in any judicial district in which any of the defendants is found, is an inhabitant or transacts business; and process in such an action may be served on a defendant in any other district in which such defendant resides or may be found. Subpenas requiring attendance of witnesses in such an action may run into any other district. In determining the judicial district in which an action may be brought under this section in instances in which such action may be brought in more than one judicial district, the Commission shall take into account the convenience of the parties.
(2) Whenever proceedings under this section involving substantially similar consumer products are pending in courts in two or more judicial districts, they shall be consolidated for trial by order of any such court upon application reasonably made by any party in interest, upon notice to all other parties in interest.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any action under this section, the Commission may direct attorneys employed by it to appear and represent it.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Commission, in determining whether to bring an action against a consumer product or a person under this section, to prepare a comparison of the costs that would be incurred in complying with the relief that may be ordered in such action with the benefits to the public from such relief.
(Pub. L. 92–573, §12, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1218; Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1205(a)(2), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 716; Pub. L. 101–608, title I, §111(a)(1), Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 3114.)
1990—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–608 added subsec. (g).
1981—Subsecs. (d) to (f). Pub. L. 97–35 redesignated subsecs. (e) and (f) as (d) and (e), respectively. Former subsec. (d), which provided for consultation with the Product Safety Advisory Council by the Commission prior to commencing an action, was struck out.
Amendment by Pub. L. 97–35 effective Aug. 13, 1981, see section 1215 of Pub. L. 97–35, set out as a note under section 2052 of this title.
1 So in original. Probably should be “(f)”.