From 1993 to 1998, six children, all below 2 years old, died after the defective crib they used collapsed, trapped their neck and strangled them (all six cribs were from the same manufacturer).

Product-related injuries and deaths tracked and recorded by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), include the following:

  • For the years 2001 and 2006, toy-related injuries were 255,100 and 220,500, respectively;
  • In 2005, Dell recalled 200,000 of its laptop batteries which could overheat and cause fire;
  • In 2003, nearly 30,000 electric blankets had to be recalled due to their tendency to overheat and catch fire when these are folded or bunched;
  • In 2006, Toyota recalled over 1.4 million of its cars due to defective parts; and,
  • Due to the use of the Ortho Evra® birth control patch, a number of young women were found to have developed blood clots, which also caused their death.

Thousands of product liability claims are filed in various U.S. courts every year, leading to settlements or court decisions in favor of consumers who have either been directly or indirectly injured by defective, harmful products.

The tasks of regulating the manufacture and sale, and of ensuring the safety of consumer products, including children’s toys and nursery items, is assigned to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a government agency that was created in 1972.  Some of CPSC’s specific tasks include:

  • Determine the allowed size of children’s toys;
  • Set limits for toxicity of, and noise produced by, toys;
  • Make sure that toys’ batteries and magnets are inaccessible to children;
  • Ensure that children’s toys are not designed with sharp parts and edges which can cause wounds;
  • Require manufacturers to display product labels that will warn parents about a toy’s possible dangers;
  • Issue recalls on harmful products;
  • Ban products that can cause danger; and,
  • Formulate other product safety requirements.

About 69,000 children in the U.S. are rushed to emergency departments every year due to defective nursery and children’s products. In 2014, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recalls on 17 million units of children’s products which included infant carriers, high and hook-on chairs, full-size and non-full-size cribs, portable cribs, infant bathtubs, infant slings, strollers, walkers, play yards, swings, stationary activity centers, and toddler beds, among others.

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, posted the following in its website: How often do you give a thought to the safety of one of the many products you purchase? Most of us take it for granted that the products we use every day are safe. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, in the push for quick profits, businesses push items onto the market without sufficient testing to determine that they are safe. It is the responsibility of those who design, produce, and market consumer products to ensure that they do no harm. If a product does injure or kill someone, anyone along the chain from design to manufacture to distribution of the product can potentially be held liable for the damages it caused.

 

 


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