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This Holiday, Have a (Safe) Toy Story

Posted By Legal Team | December 6 2022 | Mass/Class Action, Product Liability

Even though U.S. toy safety standards are among the toughest in the world, toys can hurt and even kill children, according to Joan Lawrence, the U.S. Toy Association’s “Toy Safety Mom” whose formal title is senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs.

Lawrence asserts that U.S. toymakers are committed to ensuring the safety of the toys they produce. Still, about 200,000 children are hurt yearly because of toy-related injuries or illnesses. Children aged 4 and under consistently make up about half of all injuries to children that require emergency room care.

Causes of Injuries

The problem is that dangerous toys, including those which are counterfeit or recalled, are easy to buy. Further, parents don’t pay attention to warning labels or buy age-inappropriate toys. The U.S. PIRG Education Fund investigation highlights these problems in its 37th annual report called “Trouble in Toyland 2022” which looks at the problems of recalls, counterfeits and not heeding warning labels.

Injuries and illnesses occur when toys don’t meet certain standards. They also occur when children get access to a toy not meant for a child their age, such as a small bouncy ball or building blocks. Riding toys are allegedly responsible for most toy injuries among children ages 14 and under.

Injuries can also happen when children use a toy in a way that wasn’t intended. Counterfeit toys can be sold in stores and online platforms, with many from overseas, that don’t meet U.S. safety standards.

Types of Injuries

Defective toys can cause a host of injuries. They include the following:

  • Strangulation from loose fabric, string, or rope
  • Lead poisoning from ingesting lead-based paint on toys
  • Cuts or punctures from broken parts made up of plastic or glass
  • Burns from overheated batteries, electrical toys, flammable materials or toxic materials used in manufacturing
  • Eye injuries from small, sharp or removable parts
  • Internal injuries to organs from ingesting small parts of toys such as magnets.

Filing a Lawsuit

Toy manufacturers owe a duty of care to potential users of their products. A duty of care is a requirement for a person must act toward others and the public with the attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would use. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard, the acts are considered negligent. Any injuries that result may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence.

In addition to filing individual lawsuits, class action lawsuits have been filed. For example, a high concentration of lead found in millions of toys produced by Mattel in 2007 resulted in a settlement of over $50 million.

Product liability lawsuits are generally filed against large manufacturers with teams of lawyers making it easy for them to wage a fight. That’s why you need an experienced product liability law firm like Smith LaCien LLP to help you establish a claim. Your attorney will conduct an immediate investigation and make sure evidence is preserved. They will also research the history of the product and talk with medical and manufacturing experts who may become expert witnesses during the trial.

Smith LaCien offers free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their families. We also handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us anything unless we win. To learn more about how we can help, call us at (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.





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