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Barbour vetoes bill on children’s products

Gov. Haley Barbour has vetoed a bill that backers said would have required the attorney general’s office to create and maintain a list of children’s products that have been recalled or have otherwise been found unsafe.

Lawmakers said the list would be available free to the public.

Barbour, in Thursday’s veto message, said the bill went too far in creating a separate procedure for the filing of claims for alleged defective children’s products.

He said the bill would allow such claims to be filed under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act, which has different standards than Mississippi’s existing products liability laws designed to protect both consumers and manufacturers.

Barbour said the bill would “negate Mississippi’s fair and just legal system by setting up a separate, poorly defined scheme for alleged defective children’s products without indicating what, if any, of the provisions of our state’s existing products liability laws would apply.”

The bill also fails to define the term “children’s products,” Barbour said, cautioning that this could cause confusion and open the door for almost any type of products liability case.

The governor said he supported the bill’s provision to create a list of defective children’s products, which could be made available over the Internet to the public.

Barbour said the lists should be handled by the Department of Health or the Department of Human Services, which have duties to protect the health and welfare of Mississippi children.

The bill is House Bill 1240.