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Product liability and children’s toys

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2020 | Product Liability

The thought of your child’s favorite toy causing an injury may seem preposterous. Yet we have seen unsafe toys cause injuries to children in Ohio. Product liability applies to the parties in the chain of manufacture for damage that products cause to consumers. Toys containing inherent defects that harm children may prompt product liability lawsuits. Consumers bring these lawsuits when defendants sell defective items and when the defect causes the user’s injury. 

According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, three types of product defects exist that may result in manufacturer and supplier liability. Design, manufacturing and marketing defects may all cause manufacturers and suppliers to incur liability. Design defects in toys are defects that exist before the manufacturer makes the toy. Manufacturing defects occur during toy production and may not affect every toy manufactured. Marketing defects have to do with improper use instructions or failure to warn consumers of a toy’s potential dangers. 

Defects due to design flaws may subject a toy to one of two tests to determine if the defendant is liable. The risk-utility test absolves a defendant of liability for the design defect if the evidence demonstrates the product’s utility outweighs its risk of harm. The consumer expectation test asks whether a so-called “reasonable” consumer would believe the product to be defective when using the product in a reasonable manner. If not, the defendant is not liable, whether the product’s use results in an injury or not. 

If a toy injures your child, product liability laws may entitle you to compensation. Our personal injury webpage can provide you with more information on the topic of product liability.