Liability of Child Product Manufacturers for Death or Injuries Caused to Children by Defective Products
Defective products are products that do not work as intended and have the potential to cause harm. Having a loved one injured because of a defective product is a tough pill to swallow. But, when the loved one is a child, that pill, in addition to being tough, is also very bitter. Child product liability is unique because the products that cause injuries to children are, 99% of the time, products that are either supposed to amuse, entertain, or, worse, nurture. They are products that you got for your child with the notion that they are ‘child-friendly. Thus, it can come as a particularly devastating shock if said product harms your child. Kids in Danger, a non-profit organization, reported that in 2019, there were 38 deaths compared to zero in 2018. Suppose your child has suffered injury, illness, or you lost a child due to a dangerous or defective product. In that case, you have the right to pursue a product liability claim against the negligent manufacturer or product supplier.
However, to get the best chances at this, you need to engage the services of an expert and competent child product injury liability attorney. They will not only know how to proceed with your case, but they will also have access to niche experts such as economists and professionals in the medical field. These experts will not only lend weight to your child product injury liability suit, but they can also help to determine the fair value of your lawsuit.
Common causes of child product injuries
Defective child products typically cause child product injuries. For example, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 65,800 cases of emergency department-treated injuries in 2015. Of this number, 12,100 were caused by cribs or mattresses, 9,500 from infant carriers, 11,200 from strollers or carriages, 11,100 from high chairs, 3,800 from changing tables, 3,700 from bouncer seats, 3,200 from walkers or exercisers, 3,200 from playpens, 2,500 from baby gates or barriers, 2,000 from portable baby swings and 2,000 from others.
From these numbers, it is evident that the same products meant to soothe, nurture, entertain, and generally make life more fun for children are the same ones that send them to emergency rooms, which are just for children younger than five. Defective products that can cause child product injuries are:
- Defective toys, Defective playsets, Playground injuries
- Rings, necklaces, and other jewelry
- Pool toys, Costumes
- Food, Bath products
- Scooters, Bicycles, Tricycles, Helmets
- Wearable and hand-held baby carriers
- Bassinets or cribs with sharp edges, Cribs with insecure latches, decorative cut-outs, and improperly-spaced slats
- Bedding, mattresses, and linens that create suffocation risks
- Car seats that fail to protect even when correctly installed
- Baby medication, Fetal exposure to adult medication, Medical devices
- Clothing that poses a strangulation risk or fails to meet flammability standards
- Strollers that lack wheel locks or tip too easily
Statistics show the following:
- Riding injuries are majorly responsible for toy injuries among children aged 14 and under.
- Most of the riding injuries happen when a child falls from a toy
- About half of all these toy-related injuries occur to the head and face area
- Children younger than three years are more at risk of choking on toys than older children. This risk is linked with the tendency of this age group to put everything in their mouths and the fact that their upper airways are smaller than those of older children.
Injuries resulting from defective children’s products
Many injuries can arise from defective products, and the common ones are:
- Choking: Toys with small parts can detach and become lodged in a child’s throat if the child swallows it.
- Burns: A product with faulty wiring or one that is not used as intended can catch fire and cause burn injuries to children.
- Fractures and broken bones: Products like faulty highchairs or cribs can suddenly break and cause injuries like fractures or broken bones.
- Head Injuries: Falls from defective riding toys can cause traumatic head injuries such as brain injuries. These injuries can lead to permanent incapacitation of the victims or, in terrible cases, death.
- Strangulation: Products that have strings or ropes on them can cause strangulation in their victims.
- Food poisoning injuries
- Intestinal blockage
- Cuts, lacerations, and even amputation
- Persistent pain or signs of discomfort
Types of Defects in Products
Generally, when you buy a product, use it as intended and per printed warnings, and still suffer injuries, you may have a product liability claim. However, with child product injury liability claims, things are not as black and white as children may not use the product as intended. However, because children are not expected to have the same judgment regarding product use as adults, you can still file a product liability claim if your child is injured. Your child product injury attorney will base your claim on the premise that the manufacturer should have foreseen that their product might be subjected to such use.
Typically, defects in products can have three different origins: manufacturing, design, and failure to warn. Any of these can be grounds for a product liability claim.
Manufacturing defects: Manufacturing defects are defects that happen while the product was in manufacturing. For example, it could be an error in assembly or the introduction of a pollutant.
Design defects: While design defects are also a form of a manufacturing defect, they predate manufacturing defects to when the product was being designed. As a result, products with design defects typically have elements that are unreasonably dangerous to the end-user.
Failure to Warn: A failure to warn defect happens when a manufacturer fails to warn the public about potential hazards in the use of their products.
The burden of proof in child injury product liability cases
For a claim to qualify as product liability, some elements must be present, and as the plaintiff in the case, the burden of proof is on you. You must prove the presence of each of the following elements:
- That the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous
- That the hazard in the product existed at the time that it left the purview of its manufacturer
- That the hazardous product was the direct cause of your child’s injuries
Contact a child product injury liability attorney for help with your case today!
If your child tragically died or was injured by a consumer good designed for children, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced child product injury liability attorney for help. Injuries to children are in a class by themselves, and you cannot afford to engage just any type of attorney. You will be best served to hire the services of an attorney who specializes in your type of case. They will listen to your story, help you determine your rights in the matter, and work hard to see that you get the financial compensation you deserve depending on the facts of your case and the applicable laws.