Consumer Products Liability: ‘Tis the Season!

During the holiday season, more potential products liability cases are likely to arise. Studies show that most recalls not including food products are associated with toys and children’s equipment. While shopping for your children, keep some of these issues in mind regarding children’s products:

Baby Strollers and Slings: In 2010, there have been three recalls involving the design of certain baby strollers. These defects have lead to hand and finger lacerations, and even amputations. Here are some examples of stroller recalls in 2010:
  • Britax: recalled 14,000 strollers in the U.S. and 800 in Canada.
  • Regal Lagar: recalled 1,100 strollers in the U.S. and 90 in Canada.
  • Graco Children’s Products: recalled over 1.5 million products, including three popular strollers.
Bicycles: Safety policies are changing as the environments of intended bicycle usage change. In the last two years, there has been approximately 16 bicycle recalls due to inadequate frames and parts, which increase the likelihood of injuries and accidents. Felt Bicycles recently recalled 3,600 units due to deficient frames and parts, and Salsa Bicycles recalled approximately 8,600 units due to defective handlebar stems.
Children’s Products Containing Lead: Since children are more susceptible to serious illness, lead ingestion can lead to a number of illnesses and perhaps even death. The CPSC has implemented new standards that limit the amount of lead that can be used in the production of children’s products. As of February 2009, these mandates have affected the production of new products and resale of previously manufactured products. As of August 2009, it is illegal for any children’s product with more than 300 parts of lead per million to be sold in the United States. Over the last four months, there has been over 20 recalls involving products that use more lead than what the CPSC allows.

Most of these consumer product cases are never filed and overlooked by the public. However, it is important to identify these cases in order to push these companies to improve the designs and manufacturing practices of the products they sell. After all, we do want our children to stay safe, right?

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