Toys come in all sizes and colors, for children of all ages, for play, education, and sport. They provide our children with the opportunity for hours of enjoyment and learning. Unfortunately, they can also cause death and debilitating injury to the most innocent of victims when their design is unsafe. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have long been a leader in the fight to rid our country's store shelves and toy boxes of unsafe playthings, in the process bringing about improved standards, toy recalls, and safer designs.
Nevertheless, the sad reality remains that thousands of children are killed and injured every year as a result of unsafe toys. The minimal government standards and voluntary industry guidelines don't do not mandate pre-market testing, and do not do enough to promote safety. Three factors can combine to control the safety of any product: (1) The manufacturer's concern for product safety; (2) The consumers' awareness of the product hazards; and (3) The diligence of government officials in providing the impetus to manufacturers to make safer products. In the case of the toy industry, all three factors have been historically lacking.
Experienced litigation and trial counsel is necessary to recognize the variety of toy hazards that can result in toy-related injuries or deaths. A toy's design is the first step in the manufacturing process, when the manufacturer determines what the consumer wants or, in short, "what will sell." Over the years, a consistent pattern of design hazards has emerged. Examples include:
- Small toy parts that can be ingested, inhaled, or aspirated
- Sharp points and edges that can puncture, cut or bruise
- Flammable fabrics that can ignite in flame or melt to a hot, sticky mass
- Chemicals that can be poisonous if swallowed or explosive if heated
- Strangulation hazards due to long strings, cords, or elastic straps
- Electrical toys using high voltage current
- Projectile toys and "weapons" sold as toys
A toy that is dangerous because it is hazardously designed may be even more so when badly made, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or foolishly and irresponsibly sold to or for children who are too young to appreciate the toy's hazards or defend against them.
If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective toy, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the dangerous toys attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We will forward your information to an appropriate member of our staff.