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Here comes Santa Claus.. here comes Santa… Pause! Santa could be bringing gifts that reek of product liability

Posted by ​​Jacques Alpacino Barker | Dec 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

Here comes Santa Claus.. here comes Santa… Pause! Santa could be bringing gifts that reek of product liability

If you're like 76% of the U.S. population, you might still be holiday shopping and will be, right up until Christmas. Finding THE perfect gift is one of the holiday season's biggest challenges. Shoppers may often overlook the potential hazards those gifts pose — whether making the purchase online or in store, learn more about the dangers of defective products, as well as, how to check for recalls or other safety issues before making your purchase.

Obligation to Consumers for their Safety
One would assume that when purchasing consumer goods, they are safe and effective. It is the manufacturer's duty to ensure safety, right? Manufacturers have a “duty of care” under the law to ensure the safety of their products, which means they may be held liable when they violate that duty and someone suffers injuries because of negligent product design, manufacturing or marketing. Yet every year, thousands of people get hurt by defective and dangerous products that slip through the cracks. Some of the most common defective products include children's toys, household appliances, and automobiles.

Additionally, there are certain “implied warranties” that also bind merchants and sellers. For example, these questions will come into play, as far as, liability towards the merchant of the product. Did the goods reasonably conform to an ordinary consumer's expectations? Did the buyer rely on the seller's skill and judgment to select the goods? For example, buyer specifically asks seller for snow tires and is sold tires that are not fit for snow, based on seller's recommendation. Implied warranty (statutory) are imposed on products by law and merchants must conspicuously disclaim them.

The Most Common Risk Factors in Dangerous and Defective Products
The pressure for manufacturers to get their product out before the holidays can encourage rushed manufacturing and shoddy quality control, which in turn can lead to mistakes in the form of defective and dangerous products.
Unfortunately, the manufacturers of children's toys are no different, and children are often the most vulnerable to injury from defective products since they don't have the same sense of caution as most adults. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) keeps an extensive list of known hazards posed by toys, and the following three safety hazards are the most common among recalled toys.

Choking hazards
Many toys, especially those that require assembly, have small pieces that children could potentially choke on or swallow. Check the labels of all toys to see if they include such parts and try to purchase only pre–assembled toys.

Laceration dangers
Metal and plastic toys that require a lot of action to play with can create a cutting hazard. And even toys that are softer and relatively stationary, like stuffed animals, have been recalled for causing lacerations. If you decide to buy your child a toy sword or scooter, teach them how to use these toys properly and make sure they understand the potential dangers when playing with them.

Lead paint
In the U.S., lead paint is illegal for use in household products, including toys. However, imported toys and toys from less-than-reputable manufacturers may still contain lead paint. When children place these toys in their mouths, they're unknowingly putting themselves at risk. Hundreds of toys with lead paint have been recalled in the past, so don't purchase any toys or children's products without verifying that they're free of lead paint.
Before purchasing a toy or any other type of gift, it's always best to check and see whether the product in question has been subject to a recall.

Cheers to happy and safe shopping!

If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries due to a product's defective manufacture or design, Barker Law Group, LLC., your family's trusted injury counsel will be more than happy to assist.

About the Author

​​Jacques Alpacino Barker

Mr. Barker is an Atlanta native. He earned his bachelors degree from the University of West Georgia and juris doctorate from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. Mr. Barker obtained valuable experience through legal and compliance related positions, in both the public and private sector, before attending law school.


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