Pitney Helps CostumeMaker Refute ClaimsBy Consumer Magazine

Thursday, January 1, 2004 - 01:00



In an unusual move, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sided with a manufacturer, Pitney Hardin Kipp & Szuch LLP's client, Rubie's Costume Co., Inc., contradicting a major consumer magazine's report, which stated that a Halloween costume from Rubie's did not meet federal flammability regulations. This prompted a retraction by the magazine and resulted in Good Morning America dropping the story from its broadcast.

Pitney Hardin assisted Rubie's Costume Co. in reaching a favorable outcome following a dispute with The Good Housekeeping Institute over the accuracy of the Institute's flammability test results for one of Rubie's Halloween costumes. Rubie's, based in Richmond Hill, NY, is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of Halloween costumes. As a result of teamwork by Frederick L. Whitmer, partner, and Glenn E. Butash, counsel, and Rubie's consumer-products counsel, the firm was able to persuade Good Housekeeping to retract a story that it had published in its October issue that the Rubie's costume allegedly failed federally mandated flammability standards and were able to persuade The Hearst Corporation, Good Housekeeping's publisher, not to disseminate a television segment describing those tests.