Now that gift giving is over, our children and grandchildren will spend numerous hours playing with toys. For the most part, they will be enjoyed without incident. However, some of our children will suffer serious injuries from a defect in the product.
Under California law, a manufacturer or distributor can be held responsible for money damages if a toy causes injury due to either a design or manufacturing defect. They can also be responsible for injury if they fail to warn of a known risk or a risk they should have known of such as a choking hazard.
A design defect typically is a toy that poses a risk of injury due to the way it was designed by the manufacturer such as a skateboard with wheels that are not spaced properly that causes the board to slip out from underneath the rider.
A manufacturer defect is usually found in toys that come off the assembly line not made to specification such as an easy bake oven with exposed electrical wiring. If injured by one of these defects, our children may be entitled to money damages for both economic and non economic damages such as medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the injury. Anyone who either manufactures or distributes the product could be held responsible. Typically an expert is hired to prove up the defect.
As a parent of two young children, I recommend inspecting toys for any obvious defects prior to use and always supervising them during play.
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