Defective baby products are products for infants that malfunction in some way and put the infant at risk. Infants are very vulnerable and cannot monitor themselves or the products they use.
So, the risk of a defective baby product, including toys, is high. This is especially true if responsible adults and product manufacturers do not ensure total safety of the product during manufacturing and use.
Infants can easily choke on small parts, so it is important that baby products, like baby strollers, and furniture be properly assembled to reduce risk. Bruises, lacerations, puncture wounds, abrasions, and suffocation are all common injuries from defective baby products.
Toys that have jagged edges, electric cords, wheels, rockers, or loose plastic are all items that pose risk to infants. Products that involve seating or harnessing of the baby can be dangerous too, and can lead to fall injuries.
What are Some Common Defective Baby Products?
Some types of baby products are more associated with defects and injury risks than others. Baby products that are commonly associated with defects and risks of injury include:
- Infant car seats;
- Baby food and baby formula (can lead to illness or food poisoning);
- Baby carriers (can often involve fall or crash risks);
- Baby cribs and bassinets (can also involve fall and suffocation risks);
- Baby toys (can involve choking, laceration, and chemical exposure hazards);
- Infant cradle swings;
- Baby clothing (often associated with choking, strangulation, and flammability hazards); and/or
- Various other types of baby products.
Injuries that result from baby products can be severe. In some cases, infant wrongful death can also occur, which may also result in different legal claims.
Who Can I File a Claim Against for a Defective Baby Product Injury?
There are several ways to file claims under products and services law for a defective baby product. But, first, you will want to investigate all parties involved in the chain of circumstances that led to the defective product in your possession. You may be able to file a claim against:
- The Seller;
- The Manufacturer;
- The Wholesaler or Distributor; or
- The party who caused the baby to come into contact with the defective product.
In some cases, it may also be possible to hold retailers or resellers of the product liable. For instance, if a seller knows that a particular baby product is dangerous or has already been recalled, they might be held liable for negligence if they continue selling the products in their store or establishment.
What Types of Product Defects Can I File For?
There are an extremely broad range of baby products. Thus, the types of defects involved are very broad as well. Some common baby product defects include:
- Flammability issues;
- Pieces or parts breaking off the product, creating choking hazards;
- Sharp edges or parts on a product;
- Products that have chemical or toxic exposure issues;
- Products that are prone to breakage, collapse, or structural weaknesses;
- Items or parts of the product falling onto the infant; and/or
- Issues with an infant getting trapped under or within a product.
Under product liability laws, product defects are generally classified under three main categories. These are:
- Warning Label Defects: These are where the manufacturer fails to include proper instructions or warnings regarding health and safety risks. An example of this is where a baby toy fails to include warnings regarding detachable pieces.
- Design Defects: These types of defects occur early on during the design phase of the product. Here, the error has to do with the way the product is designed. For example, if a baby crib is designed in such a way that makes it prone to tip-overs, the manufacturer might be held liable for a design defect.
- Manufacturing Defect: These types of defects happen as the product is being put together or assembled. An example of this is where an important screw is left out during the assembly of a baby bassinet, causing the product to be dangerous to users.
Some defective baby products can involve more than one type of defect. Also, some defective baby products can injure or create injury risks for many different consumers. In such cases, a class action lawsuit might be filed, allowing several people to recover damages all at once.
Can I Recover Damages for Defective Baby Products?
In a defective baby product lawsuit, the legal remedy will typically be a monetary damages award. In such cases, if the person wins their claim, then they can collect damages to compensate them for their losses. Damages can often cover losses like medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment or loss of quality of life, loss of work or income, and other costs.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Defective Baby Product Lawsuit?
If you have had a baby product turn out to be defective, you should speak with a products and services lawyer right away. A lawyer can help you make your best case and represent you during settlement negotiations and in court. Your attorney can help determine what your options are and what types of remedies are available to you.