Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2019 at 7:20 am
There are a lot of foreign made toys and other consumer products that seem to be a good bargain but may be defective and potentially dangerous. We are not talking about well known brands here, even if they are now manufactured out of the U.S., typically in places like China, Vietnam and Mexico. Many consumer goods are made by manufacturers in these countries and may not have the strict quality control standards that western brands may have developed for their goods. That can mean potentially dangerous accidents if there is a defective product.
If you, or one of your children, have been injured by a defective product bought in a department store like Walmart, K Mart or Target, you have the right to sue the distributor of the product, even if the manufacturer is primarily at fault. There are several steps that need to be taken and it is worth talking to an experienced defective product liability attorney before actually filing a complaint or taking legal action. There may have been similar complaints and injuries caused by the same product sold in the same store or in another store of the same company. It is easier to sue the company responsible for distributing or selling the defective product if it is not an isolated incident.
Who is to blame for a defective toy injury?
To succeed in any personal injury claim there must be clear evidence that shows that someone was negligent in providing a product for sale that was potentially dangerous and that the product actually caused an injury. A particular product is usually defective because of a manufacturing error. It may be that all of the same products have the same design fault, in which case the manufacturer is certainly one party that could be sued if it has a base in the U.S.
More often than not, it has been imported by a U.S. importer and the manufacturer would be difficult to sue as it is based overseas and not covered by U.S. consumer laws. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot claim compensation from someone as the importer may potentially be at fault, or the distributor, who must have some links with both the importer and / or the manufacturer. The company selling the item could also be at fault. The importer, distributor and seller all have responsibility for offering a product on the market that is safe to use.
It’s not easy filing a claim for compensation if you, or your child, have been injured by a suspected defective product. You must have evidence that:
- a) you read the instructions provided and particularly any warnings;
- b) the importer, distributor or seller, knew that there was a defect;
- c) the importer, or distributor, had not carried out satisfactory checks on the item before making them available for sale;
- d) the defect caused a specific injury;
Example of a recent defective product
There have been many examples of defective products over the years. Some of these cause so severe injuries that they lead to a product recall. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has had a number of complaints recently from parents who had bought a type of pop-up hamper, sold in Walmart. The complaints focused on a design defect of the hamper in which the wires embedded in the fabric of the hamper suddenly sprung up as the hamper’s pop-up release mechanism was activated. Eyes are particularly at risk. One mother lost an eye when she was just unpacking one of the hampers. A boy suffered a serious eye injury as he was trying to stuff some of his clothes into the hamper and some of the wire sprung out of the fabric into his eye.
The CPSC is still assessing the risks from this particular hamper and at the time of writing the product has not yet been recalled.
If you, or your child have been injured by what you have believe is a defective toy or other consumer product, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Fighting a huge corporation like Walmart or Target over a defective product is really hard all on your own, but an experienced attorney will have had considerable experience dealing with the sort of issue. In McAllen, contact the Patino Law Firm at 956-631-3535.