In a January 2013 release, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that in the third quarter of 2012, nearly 3 million units of consumer products that failed to meet safety standards were stopped at U.S. ports. This was a significant amount because it was almost three times the number stopped in the prior two quarters combined.
Most of the products stopped involved toys and children’s products. In fact, approximately 2,400 different kinds of toys (more than 2 million units) were stopped at ports in the past four years. Again, these all stemmed from safety hazards.
Following are some of the top safety concerns regarding toys and children’s products stopped at U.S. ports:
- high levels of lead;
- high levels of phthalate (chemical used in plastic); and
- choking hazards in small parts.
Liability in Defective Toys and Children’s Products
Unfortunately, the strict standards in the United States surrounding product manufacturing, along with packaging, labels, instructions and warnings, are not always shared by manufacturers in other countries. This can leave some consumers who suffer injuries from a product wondering who can be held liable.
Victims may have options. For instance, a wholesaler-distributor who imports toys and children’s products from a foreign manufacturer potentially could be held liable.
On the other hand, just because a manufacturer is not from the United States doesn’t mean it can’t be accountable for products that cause injuries or death. The manufacturer, along with other parties, could be potential parties named in a lawsuit.
Anyone in the chain of distribution may share some of the responsibility. Other parties may include engineers, designers, retailers and shippers.
Those who are seeking legal advice can turn to the law firm of Gacovino, Lake & Associates. We handle defective product cases, including those involving toys and children’s products. We may be able to help determine if an injured person has the right to file a claim and against whom. Call us: (800) 246-4878.