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1.7.8.1 Hazardous Substances

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act prohibits state cautionary labeling requirements unless they are identical to federal requirements.362 Taking into account the Supreme Court’s narrow construction of similar language in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act,363 a court has held that this statute does not preempt a design defect claim regarding a household cleaner.364 In addition, a consumer can assert a state law claim that adopts compliance with the federal labeling requirements as a standard of care.365

Footnotes

  • 362 {330} 15 U.S.C. § 1261 note (b)(1)(A).

  • 363 {331} Bates v. Dow Agrosciences L.L.C., 544 U.S. 431, 125 S. Ct. 1788, 161 L. Ed. 2d 687 (2005). See generally § 1.7.3, supra.

  • 364 {332} Gougler v. Sirius Products, Inc., 370 F. Supp. 2d 1185 (S.D. Ala. 2005). See also Moss v. Parks Corp., 985 F.2d 736 (4th Cir. 1993) (plaintiff may base state law claim on manufacturer’s failure to comply with federal labeling requirements, but not on failure to give warnings different from those required by federal regulations); Wagoner v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 832 F. Supp. 2d 664 (E.D. La. 2011) (claims other than failure to warn are not preempted); Sherman v. Sunsong Am., Inc., 485 F. Supp. 2d 1070, 1081–1083 (D. Neb. 2007) (failure to warn claim preempted if it seeks to require more than the federal labeling requirements; other warranty and negligence claims not preempted). But cf. Mwesigwa v. DAP, Inc., 637 F.3d 884 (8th Cir. 2011) (failure to warn claim preempted).

  • 365 {333} Wagoner v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 832 F. Supp. 2d 664 (E.D. La. 2011).