Visitor Question

Who is Responsible if a Dangerous Toy Injures a Child?

Submitted By: Kristyna (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

We purchased a robotic toy from a major chain toy store for our son. It has two curly wires that come out from the head as sensors. My kids were told to clean up toys before we were to head out to go shopping, and my 7 yr old son picked up the toy and the wires punctured his finger.

We were unable to remove the wire, because of its curly nature, so we had to go to the hospital with a panicked screaming child. There they were able to freeze the finger and remove the wire.

We spoke to the manufacturer of the toy, who promptly admitted design error and promised to redesign the toy for release in February. They sent us a package of toy product to replace the missing toy.

The toy store will not take any responsibility for selling a dangerously designed toy, as admitted by the manufacturer. Does the store have some kind of liability for this? Can anything else be done? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kristyna,

Kristyna,

We certainly hope your son is feeling better. Although it is quite unusual for a manufacturer to admit any type of error, especially a product defect, when it does it can often create “legal havoc” with hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits piling up at the courthouse steps.

Be sure to hold on to the letter in which the manufacturer admitted the product was defective. If the admission of guilt was made verbally it is important to know with whom you spoke, the date and time you did and exactly what was said to you.

To be effective against the store itself the manufacturer’s admission of product defect must be able to be produced for all to see. An admission by the manufacturer of a product defect can be “imputed” to the store selling the product. Imputed means the admission of a product defect by the manufacturer passes on to the store which sells the product.

Of course there will be legal issues involved with the transference of defect from manufacturer to store, but with the admission of product defect in hand your chances of prevailing in a case against both the manufacturer and the store will be increased tenfold.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 2, 2011

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