It’s that time of year again! Parents are scrambling from store-to-store to ensure that their little ones get the toy that they “must have”. While we all the very best for our children, it’s up to us to ensure that the toys we pick out are safe. Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) puts out a list of the 10 most potentially hazardous toys that should not be in the hands of children. This year’s list can be found here.
Over 240,000 children are reported to die or get injured every year due to dangerous toys. There are many other cases that just don’t get reported. Of these children, over 60% are 15 years old or younger, and they are mostly boys. In 2017, there were at least twenty-eight (28) toys with recognized safety defects recalled in the United States. These recalls involved over three and a half million (3.5 million) toys and prove the inadequacy of existing standards.
While many children can get injured by a toy due to wrongful use, for the most part, toys need to be built in a way that most kids can handle them, even in a wrong way, without getting injured. After all, kids are kids, and they will challenge even the clearest instructions on the package, if they are even aware of the instructions. Some of the most common injuries from toys are:
– Cuts and scratches
– Broken bones
– Burn injuries
– Choking with small toy parts
It’s always important for children, especially those under 15 years of age, to be properly supervised when playing with toys. Injuries can also happen when the parent doesn’t assemble the toy properly based upon the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some injuries can be minor. However, if a malfunctioning toy that was defective from the factory or a mass-produced toy built using toxic materials caused the injury, it might be time to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lot of cheaply built toys can cause serious injuries or even death, making this a very serious matter.
In the state of Maryland, defective toy claims fall under the notion of product liability, which is a form of personal injury claim. In most cases, the parent or legal guardian of the affected child will have to prove negligence on the part of the toy manufacturer or designer in order to successfully win a claim.
In order to prepare for a product liability claim due to a toy injury in Baltimore, an experienced lawyer will ask for as much proof as possible to show that the product was defective, that there was negligence on the part of the designer or toy manufacturer, and that the child got injured as a result of this negligence. The toy manufacturer might argue that there were warnings, such as choking hazard warnings on the package, or that the parent didn’t supervise the child properly. This is why it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who understands Maryland laws pertaining to product liability and injuries caused by toys. If you have any questions, please contact us. We’re here to help.