Paul N. Pfeiffer, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Maritime Administration for 13 years, today assumed duties as the first Administrative Law Judge for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In his role as Administrative Law Judge, Judge Pfeiffer will conduct administrative proceedings for the Commission in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
One of his major areas of responsibility will involve cases under Sections 15 and 17 of the Consumer Product Safety Act where manufacturers disagree with the Commission's staff that a product poses a substantial product hazard. Judge Pfeiffer would hear all the witnesses and evidence in order to present an independent initial decision to the five Commissioners. The Commissioners may adopt, modify or reverse his decision, and companies have final recourse to the courts.
Judge Pfeiffer will also have responsibilities for administrative hearings under the Flammable Fabrics Act and for formal rulemaking procedures under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
While Judge Pfeiffer was Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Maritime Administration, he was designated by the U.S. Civil Service Commission to hear administrative cases before various other government agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
During the past year, he presided at public hearings on fireworks held as a result of objections filed against the Commission's ban. He presented his recommendation to the Commissioners in April.
Prior to joining the Maritime Administration in 1961, Pfeiffer was a hearing examiner for the Civil Aeronautics Board for 14 years.
Pfeiffer was born in New York City on October 12, 1916. He received a B.A. from Yale College in 1937 and an LLB from Harvard Law School in 1940.
Pfeiffer is married and has two children.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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