In the past few years, there seems to have been an epidemic of lead-infested toys being imported from China. Defective products are a major cause of injuries among children. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report of Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries in Calendar Year 2006, there were 220,500 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms and 22 toy-related deaths among children under the age of 15.
When a children’s product is found to be defective and it causes serious injuries, the manufacturer can be held liable. Parents need to be careful when choosing a toy for their child by making sure it is age appropriate and in good condition. However, even if reasonable safety precautions are taken, it is impossible to anticipate problems that may arise when a toy is defective. There are toys recalled almost weekly and some of these items pose significant risks to children, such as choking hazards, risks of burns, suffocation hazards and other dangers. Parents and caregivers can stay updated on the latest recalled toys by signing up to receive emails from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov). It is important to note that many toy-related injuries occur before a product is recalled.
In addition to toys, other children’s products can also pose safety hazards, including clothing and costumers, cribs, bassinets, clothing and outdoor playgrounds. Many factors can lead to a defective product. Design flaws can make a product dangerous, which means that all of the products coming off the assembly line will contain the same defect. A product that was manufactured improperly can also pose a danger to consumers. If a product is marketed incorrectly or the labeling is incorrect, it can lead to a defective product that may cause serious injuries to children.
Safety testing by manufacturers is often inadequate or even non-existent. Even worse, once tragedy strikes neither the manufacturing industry nor the government acts as swiftly and urgently as they should in order to warn the public or recall and remedy these dangerous products. Many infants and children are allowed to die or suffer serious physical injury before necessary action is taken to prevent other children and families from suffering the same catastrophe.
Too often manufacturers stop making or finally decide to modify their defective products, when it is already too late, after children have been badly injured or killed. Manufacturers often fail to make a timely recall of the defective products already in the hands of unknowing families. Even when they do attempt to recall products, manufacturers may fail to conduct adequate informational campaigns to warn parents of the hidden dangers in the products being used by their children. Parents, therefore, continue to use or acquire the dangerous items at thrift stores, second-hand stores, at garage sales or as hand-me-downs, often resulting in catastrophic consequences.
If you or your child has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Coker, Schickel, Sorenson, Posgay & Iracki has successful handled numerous cases of injury stemming from a child’s toy or item of apparel. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to thoroughly investigate claims of this type, engage experts to help prove your case and take the case to court to fight for your right to fair compensation for this type of injury.