New York State Enacting "Harper's Law" Requiring Tip Restraint Devices on Certain Furniture


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08h00 - 16h30

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New York State amends the general business law, in relation to enacting "Harper's Law" requiring tip restraint devices on certain furniture

This act shall be known and may be cited as "Harper's Law".

The new law defines "furniture" as a clothing storage unit that is freestanding and at least twenty-seven inches in height including but not limited to chests, dressers, armoires, and bureaus; and the law also defines “tip restraint device" as a mechanism that is designed to reduce the risk of furniture tipping over. Such mechanism may include straps, wall brackets, steel cables, or plug and screw sets.

The law states that no person, firm, partnership, association, limited liability company, corporation, or other entity shall sell or offer to sell new furniture to a consumer at retail unless the furniture conforms to  standards endorsed or established by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission or, if no such standard exists,  a  standard established by ASTM International which requires furniture to contain a tip restraint device and  carry a permanent warning label, including but not limited to, ASTM F2057.

Additionally, the new law allows a person, firm, partnership, association, limited liability company, corporation, or other entity may sell or offer to sell new furniture that does not meet the requirements above if the furniture sold is outside the scope of the standards prescribed and contains a compatible tip restraint device and carries a permanent warning label.

If the furniture is outside the scope of the standards prescribed above and the retailer maintains in stock and prominently displays within the store tip restraint devices available for sale  that are  compatible with such  furniture; and posts a notice, in a conspicuous location which may be easily seen or reached by customers, that,  in legible format, states: "Certain furniture may become unstable and tip over, leading to possible injury or death. Tip restraint devices may prevent tipping of furniture when properly installed."

Any person, firm, partnership, association, limited  liability company,  corporation,  or other entity that sells or offers to sell new furniture to a consumer at retail in violation of the provisions of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for each violation.

This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

Additional Information:

This bill requires retailers who sell certain new furniture to offer for sale compatible tip restraint devices and post a notice informing consumers of the risk of furniture tipping.

New York State Assembly: A04421(Chapter 163), 13 August 2019

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