The last thing any parent should have to worry about is a toy they purchase for their child causing an injury. Unfortunately, there are often various toy recalls throughout the United States each year, some of which pertain to issues that could cause significant injuries to children.
But what happens if a toy company tries to place the blame for a child’s injury onto the parents?
This is not an uncommon tactic used by toy manufacturers. In product liability claims, one of the main defenses used by the at-fault party is to try and shift blame onto the consumer. Here, we want to discuss three ways the toy manufacturers blame parents after their toys cause a child’s injury. What might a toy company say if a parent files a lawsuit for a defective toy injury?
1. “You Didn’t Properly Supervise Your Child”
A toy company could argue that they are not responsible for watching over a child. Even though this is technically correct, defective product incidents can still occur regardless of how much supervision a child has. Children can still swallow toy parts that are too small, and bicycles can still fall apart because of a defective frame (just two examples).
Toy companies and manufacturers are legally responsible for mitigating the likelihood that injuries will occur. For example, companies should opt for developing strong frames for bicycles and scooters as opposed to alloys that, while they may be cheaper, could also be weaker. No amount of supervision is going to keep a defective toy from causing an injury.
2. “Your Child Misused the Toy”
Parents rely on toy companies and manufacturers to design a product that cannot be missed used by a child. For example, under no circumstances should a toy company market a product that poses a severe choking hazard to children.
If a toy does pose a known hazard, there should be adequate warning labels on the toy so that parents know about these potential hazards. Parents should not bear the burden of wondering whether or not a child can misuse a toy, particularly if they are already following all of the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the product. Parents should have a reasonable expectation that a toy is safely designed if they purchased it from a retail setting, whether in a store or online.
3. “You Brought the Toy Into Your Home”
Parents and guardians have to rely on company and manufacturer research and testing when it comes to safety. It is not logical or reasonable to expect that parents will test every toy that they bring into their home. When a parent buys a toy at a store or from an online retailer, they are also buying the research and testing that is supposed to come along with that product. If a company neglects its duties to provide a safe toy, that is on them, not the parents.
4. Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit
If your child has been injured or become ill due to a defective toy in Illinois, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An Illinois product liability attorney will be able to investigate every aspect of your claim. They will gather the evidence needed to prove liability, conduct research pertaining to the toy across the country, and vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers to recover adequate compensation on your behalf.