Defective children's toys are a crucially important part of Pennsylvania's products liability law with some important differences from other types of defective products. Recovering compensation for the victims is even more important than in other cases because the victim is a child. The victim's young age also impacts the law because they are far less likely to appreciate the danger in one of their toys and it is more difficult to decide when they are acting reasonably.
The products liability lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian in Philadelphia strive to legally represent victims who have been hurt by children's toys and recover the compensation that they deserve for them to overcome their injuries.
Types of Children's Toys
A child's toy is anything that is designed and made to be used by someone underage.
For especially young people, like toddlers and those under the age of four, they include things like:
- Cradles and cribs
- Baby mobiles
- Plastic trucks
- Building blocks
As children get older, the toys they use and play with change, as well:
- Sporting equipment
Even as the types of toys they use evolve, though, the ways that those toys can be defective remains the same.
Types of Defects in Children's Toys
There are several ways that a child's toy can be defective. If that defect leads to an accident or injury, the company that made or designed the toy could be held liable for the consequences.
Toys that are Flammable
When a child's clothing or bedding is made of flammable material, it can put the child in harm's way. Unlike adults, children – especially young children – cannot be counted on to react in reasonable ways to a fire. If they see that their clothing has caught fire, they might not think to take it off or to get it under water immediately. As a result, they can suffer terrible burns that can alter the rest of their life.
The Flammable Fabrics Act forces companies to design products that will be used by children to use non-flammable materials. If this Act is violated, the company behind the offending product can be held liable.
Toys that are Toxic
Toxic toys are especially dangerous to children young enough that they are bound to put the toy in their mouth at some point. If the toy is made of toxic material or painted with hazardous paint, it can cause significant developmental delays and mental injuries in the long run.
Toxicity is not just a threat to toddlers, though. Older children who play with toys that leech chemicals or that deteriorate over time can get hurt, too.
Toys that Can Pinch Children
Lots of toys and other things that children use are meant to fold for easier storage. Whenever something folds, though, fingers can be caught between the two sides that are being folded together. Children that are young enough to be unaware of the dangers can have their fingers broken if they are not careful or are not supervised closely enough.
Companies that design toys for toddlers and young children need to be aware that their targeted audience uses their mouths to experience nearly everything they touch. Designing toys that are small enough for the child to swallow and choke on should be expected. Companies should even make sure that their toys cannot break into pieces that are small enough to choke on.
The Three Sources of a Defective Children's Toy
Each of these types of defects can be caused at three different stages in a toy's development:
- Design defects happen when the toy or product is designed,
- Manufacturing defects happen when the product is made or assembled, and
- Advertising defects happen when the company making the product fails to warn consumers about the risks of using it.
Many defective child toys come from bad designs. When these toys are made according to the design, they still put children at serious and foreseeable risk. Examples include:
- Toys for toddlers that are made with toxic chemicals
- Child dressers or shelves that cannot be anchored to the wall to keep from tipping over
- Electric scooters that can go unreasonably fast
Manufacturing defects are those that happen in the factory, producing products that do not conform to the design. In many cases, manufacturing defects only impact one of the toys that leave the factory, like when a worker on the assembly line failed to adequately tighten a screw. In some cases, though, entire models are poorly put together in ways that conflict with the original design, putting innocent children at risk of getting hurt.
Finally, there are advertising defects, which fail to warn consumers – often parents – of the risks of a particular child's toy. Not notifying a parent of a potential choking hazard can amount to an advertising defect, as it prevents the parent from taking appropriate action to keep their child safe.
Compensation for Victims
When a child gets hurt because they were playing with a defective and dangerous toy, they should be compensated by the company that made it. That compensation should cover:
- Medical expenses, both those that have already been made and those that are likely to be needed for ongoing treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship for the parents
- Reduced earning capacity, if the injury causes long-term disabilities that may prevent the child from earning a living
Defective Product Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Serve Victims in Philadelphia
The defective product lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian strive to legally represent victims of defective children's toys in Philadelphia. The victims in these cases have their whole lives ahead of them, and suffering a serious injury because a major corporation could not be bothered to make safe toys for them to play with is a tragedy. Recovering the compensation that the child needs and deserves and holding the company accountable for its poor conduct is something that Gilman & Bedigian do every day.
Contact them online to get started on your case today.