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After Zucker shut down his company, the commission responded by naming him in its lawsuit. The commission supported that move with a legal precedent known as the Park doctrine, which allows the government to criminally prosecute corporate officers for failing to prevent violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


Critics say it is a misuse of the doctrine. “At a minimum, this action is an obvious overreach of the CPSC’s authority,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, a conservative legal group backing Zucker. “At a maximum, it is an illegal abuse of power by persons within the commission who seek to punish Mr. Zucker.”