In October 2010, toys sold at California Wal-Mart and Target stores were found to have lead levels higher than limits allowed by federal law, according to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). A chair sold at Target was reported to have lead levels 70 times the allowable amount. Several Wal-Mart products, including toddler bean bag chairs and children’s boxing gloves, also exceeded lead limits, based on the CEH report. Target pulled the dangerous products from its shelves nationwide, while Wal-Mart stopped selling the products in its California stores. Neither retailer has issued a formal recall.
Companies Should Be Held Responsible When Lead Levels Injure Children
Extreme levels of lead can cause permanent damage, including developmental disabilities, cognitive delay and slow growth. A child who suffers such injuries will need access to extensive rehabilitation programs and special education. All of this care requires tremendous financial resources that the average family may not have.
Under the law, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers are all responsible for injuries caused by a defective product that they place into the stream of commerce. Though federal and state laws provide for certain testing and evaluating procedures, excessive amounts of lead and other foreign substances continue to find their way into our children’s toys. A product liability lawsuit against the companies responsible for allowing sale of a toy with high lead levels may be the best way for the family to obtain compensation for the past and future costs associated with the child’s injuries. Successful product liability claims may also serve as a warning to toy companies, encouraging them to strengthen their safety processes to avoid additional lawsuits in the future.
How Do I Learn About Defective Products?
Every day the news has another story about a defective product, many of them children’s toys containing lead or other harmful substances. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a website and e-mail list to inform subscribers of product recalls as they happen. Consumers can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts of product recall news stories through Google News simply by typing the words “product recall” into the search field. It is imperative to stay informed about dangerous products, particularly toxic toys or other baby products that contain lead.
Contact a Lawyer
Experienced product liability attorneys, like those at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, can assist parents and children injured by toys with dangerous lead levels. For more information, visit us at www.sgglaw.com.
Related Resource: Center for Environmental Health “High Levels of Lead in Kids’ Products – Yet Wal-Mart May Continue to Sell Tainted Items“