Tide Pods are a specific brand of detergent pods. They are relatively newer laundry detergent products, similar to dishwasher pods. Rather than detergent liquids being held in a jug or container, the detergent is contained within plastic wraps that dissolve in water for single use.

These detergent pods have been linked with consumer risks, especially those involving child or pediatric poisoning. Pediatric poisoning occurs when a child or infant ingests substances that are dangerous, or cause unsafe reactions in the child. Generally speaking, this process involves the child accessing and ingesting or inhaling poisonous or toxic substances. However, common, everyday objects can also be toxic to children especially in higher doses. An example of this would be when a child ingested or inhaled cooking or food ingredients, such as cinnamon, in large amounts.

Pediatric poisoning can lead to considerably serious injuries and conditions, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Damage to stomach or other internal organs;
  • Dangerous effects associated with breathing and/or heart rate; and
  • Asphyxiation, which is the inability to breathe, or choking.

One problem associated with some Tide Pod products is that their size and color markings cause them to appear like candy or food products. Because of this, young children and infants may be more susceptible to ingesting them. Other than the poisoning risks, there are also serious risks of choking. This is largely due to the fact that the detergent pods may not dissolve immediately, and can get lodged in the child’s throat.

Other detergent pod injuries include ocular injuries, or injuries to the eye. These can occur if the pod has ruptured and the product spills onto a person.

Who Can Be Held Liable For a Tide Pod Poisoning Accident?

In terms of pediatric poisoning in general, an incident can usually be traceable to some sort of defect with the product. In such cases, the manufacturer or distributor of the product could be held liable for injuries caused by the product. Some examples of issues may include:

  • The product is overly toxic;
  • The product does not conform to health and safety standards;
  • There are issues with the safety seal of the product, such as the lid or package being easy for children to open; and
  • There are insufficient warnings on the product’s labels, especially in terms of storage or access to the product.

Additionally, other parties can be held liable if they negligently allowed a child to be exposed to products or items that could poison them. An example of this would be when a childcare facility fails to take the proper precautions in preventing a pediatric poisoning incident.

Depending on the circumstances as well as the nature of the specific product involved, there are different parties that can be held liable for a poisoning or choking incident. The manufacturer of a detergent pod product may be held liable for injuries to consumers if there is some sort of defect with the product that contributed to the injury.

A defective product causes injury when it has been designed, manufactured, or marketed defectively, which are outline below:

  • Design Defects: Design defects are present from the beginning, even before the product is actually manufactured. A company may become liable for a design defect when a foreseeable risk was present during manufacturing, and the company chose to continue creating the unsafe product. An example of this would be a coffee cup that is designed in such a way that the bottom of the cup melts whenever it contains hot fluid.
    • When making a legal claim for a design defect, many states require that the plaintiff show that the risk could have been reasonably reduced or avoided by an alternative design. What this means is that the manufacturer could have made the changes at an economically feasible cost, with the product remaining virtually the same as the unsafe product. Products containing design defects are inherently unsafe, and as such are only fixed by altering the original design;
  • Manufacturer Defects: Manufacturer defects occur over the course of the manufacturing or assembly process. Such defects could result from an unintentional mistake, causing the product to be more dangerous than what the company and the consumer expected. The primary difference between design defects and manufacturer defects is that design defects are intentional, while manufacturer defects are unintentional.
    • Manufacturer defects are generally easier to fix, as the remedy may be as simple as changing a material or the assembly process. The most common examples of manufacturing defects include faulty screws, contaminated medications and food products, and faulty mechanisms; and
  • Marketing Defects: Marketing defects occur when there is a lack of sufficient instructions or warnings about the product’s use. They are flaws in the way the product is marketed to the consumer, such as improper labeling and inadequate safety warnings. Marketing defects are most commonly associated with a company’s failure to warn consumers about the proper way to use a product. This includes hazards associated with the use of the product.

What Is Needed To Prove Liability?

In order to prove to the court that the product was defective in some way, the plaintiff will need to prove one of the above legal theories. This is in addition to proving that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous to use.

An example of this would be if there is a lack of warning labels on the product regarding poisoning and choking dangers. The manufacturer might be the party that is held liable. Under other circumstances, they could be held liable if there is a design defect associated with the packaging that allows young children to access the laundry pods.

As previously mentioned, a person responsible for the care of a child or infant can be held liable for negligence if they allow a child access to a detergent pod product. An example of this would be when the caretaker of a child neglects their duty of care, and allows the child to wander during their caretaking shift. This is a serious risk for daycare centers, as some centers have laundry rooms or storage rooms in which such products would be stored.

Are There Any Legal Remedies For Detergent Pod Poisoning Cases?

Because Tide pod poisoning can result in serious injury, or even death, these types of cases generally require legal action in order to resolve the complex issues associated with these situations. Such injury lawsuits will often result in a monetary damages award to the injured party.

Compensatory damages intend to restore the injured person to the position they were before the harm or loss occurred. This generally includes damages that can be calculated, such as:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Property damage;
  • Loss of wages or earnings; and
  • Other quantifiable losses.

General damages may be awarded for losses that are not easily determined through monetary calculations. These can include losses connected with:

When a number of consumers have been injured or put at risk by the same detergent pod product, a class action lawsuit can result. There may also be a recall of the product in order to prevent further injuries.

It is important to note that there have been reports of ingesting Tide Pods or other detergent pods as part of a dare or a challenge. In such cases, liability for injuries may be affected or reduced. This is because the person may have been negligent when intentionally ingesting the product, while being aware of the risks involved with their actions.

Do I Need An Attorney For Tide Pods Poisoning?

Detergent pod poisoning can involve many complex areas of law. If you would like to pursue a personal injury or product defect lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced and local defective products lawyer. An attorney will be best suited to helping you understand your state’s specific laws regarding the matter, especially as they apply to limits placed on damages awards.

An experienced consumer attorney can also inform you regarding whether there is a class action lawsuit you may join. Additionally, your attorney will also be able to represent you in court as needed.