Defective products are essentially products that are unreasonably dangerous when being used, without any alterations, for their intended purpose. To be more specific, a defective product is a product that causes injury to a person due to either:
- A design defect, which is a defect present in the product from the beginning;
- A manufacturer defect, which is an unintentional mistake made during the manufacturing process; or
- A marketing defect, which is a flaw in the way that the product is marketed, such as improper labeling.
Defective children’s products, then, are products intended for use by children but are defective in some way. These are products that are dangerous and present risks to small children or babies. Children’s product defects are generally categorized into the same three types of defect as other defective products:
- Defects due to the dangerous design of the product;
- Defects due to negligent construction or assembly of the product; and
- Defects associated with a lack of appropriate warnings.
Although some defective children’s products can be subject to recall once they are found to be dangerous, injuries can and often do occur in between the time of purchase and the time in which a recall is issued. These injuries are often what causes a product to be recalled in the first place.
What Are Some Common Examples of Defective Children’s Products?
Whether or not the product was actually made defectively, the design and purpose of the children’s product could be dangerous for a child. In many cases, the manufacturer may have overlooked the dangers of the product before the product has been placed for sale. This is especially true for latent defects. A latent defect is a problem hidden within a product, and is not discovered upon routine inspection. These defects are generally not discovered until the product is on the market, or has been sold.
Some of the most common examples of children’s products that can be dangerous and defective include:
- Faulty child car seats and strollers;
- Dangerous or flammable children’s clothing;
- Unsafe toys, such as those with sharp edges, small parts that could present as a choking hazard, or long strings or ropes that could cause strangulation;
- Defective cribs, bassinets, baby beds, and toddler beds;
- Toys that can be used as a weapon; and
- Water absorbing toys that expand when wet, thereby creating a potential choking hazard.
Most of the products are defective due to the fact that the children using the products do not take notice of the product’s dangers, or their warning labels, and see the item as a toy. Not all children’s items should be used as a toy. Additionally, parents often do not notice the dangers involved with an item or toy until an injury actually occurs.
Defective children’s products are some of the most common types of defective products. Children are more at risk for defective items and toys since they are unable to recognize the defect or potentially serious injury that could result from the toys they are playing with.
What Are Some Common Examples of Defects With Children’s Products?
The main concern with children’s defective products is that the child may not be old enough, or mature enough, to recognize certain risks associated with potentially dangerous products. Thus, if they cannot recognize the risk, they cannot take steps to minimize the risk or reduce potential damage.
Some of the most common examples of defects that have been found in connection with children’s toys and products include:
- Sharp edges, or some other sharp aspect;
- Products that contain toxic materials such as paint or other substances;
- Toys or other products assembled with small parts that are easily swallowed;
- Toys or other products that utilize electricity, heat, or other mechanical dangers; and
- Products with strings, ropes, or cords that can cause choking or strangulation.
When many injuries result from the same product, or several children are injured by one product, a class action lawsuit may be filed against the product’s manufacturer, designer, or distributor.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Injuries Caused by Defective Children’s Products?
The most common legal remedy for injuries caused by a defective children’s product is a damages award. This award is intended to reimburse the victim for costs associated with the injury, such as hospital bills, therapy and rehab costs, and medication costs. In order to recover these damages, the plaintiff will need to prove that a certain party was negligent and therefore responsible for the injury.
Generally, this will be the product’s manufacturer, especially when the danger was caused by a defective design, manufacturing process, or lack of warning. However, other parties may be held liable, such as a retailer that failed to remove the product from their stock after a recall of the item was issued.
Many children’s toys or products include a suggested age range for the product, determined by the manufacturer. They may also include various disclaimers which state that they, the manufacturer, cannot be held legally liable for injuries that result from an improper usage of the toy or product. These types of claims could influence how a product liability claim is resolved.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Defective Children’s Product Lawsuit?
If you believe you have a legal claim involving a children’s toy or product, you should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable products and services attorney. An experienced products and services attorney can help determine if you have a claim, and if your claim can be included in a class action lawsuit.
Additionally, an attorney can file a suit on your behalf, as well as represent you in court as needed. With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you may recover a damages award.