Over 30,000 Toy Toasters Have Been Recalled for a Choking Danger

Children’s toys and products have become more inventive, educational, and just plain fun over the years, but many still pose significant dangers to the safety of small children. Choking dangers are among the most common toy or children’s product hazards and often result in the recall of products or toys that may appear harmless to the average adult.

toys r us toaster recallOn October 15, 2014, for example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall by Toys R Us of approximately 30,000 “Just Like Home Toy Toaster Sets” in the United States and another 6,000 in Canada for a defect that may result in a child’s choking injury. The toaster sets were sold with two plastic toast slice and two plastic half-bagel slice accessories. The plastic toast slices have been reported to crack and break into small pieces under pressure, creating sharp-edged pieces on which a child can choke. Consumers have been instructed to immediately take these toys away from their children and to return them to any Toys R Us store for a full refund.

If your child has been injured by one of these toasters or by any other product, however, keep the product so that you can turn it over to a personal-injury attorney who can address issues of product preservation and testing for purposes of a product-liability action. Defects such as these have the potential to cause children’s serious injuries or deaths. If your child has been injured or has died as a result of choking on a toy or children’s product, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your child have suffered. Child injury attorney Jeff Killino has extensive experience with child-injury cases, including those arising out of children’s injuries or deaths caused by defective toys or children’s products. Contact attorney Killino and his highly regarded team of personal injury and defective products lawyers for more information about your legal rights and options.

Who Is Legally Responsible for Children’s Choking Injuries and Deaths?

According to an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), choking is one of the leading causes of injury in children, particularly in children 4 years of age or younger. Though foods account for a majority of these injuries, toys, children’s products, and even adult products also present choking dangers to children due to children’s propensity for putting nearly everything they find into their mouths.

Who can be held responsible when a child is injured or killed after choking on a toy or other product? If the choking injury is found to have been caused by a defect in the product on which a child choked, the product’s manufacturer, seller, and others involved in the production and distribution of the product may be held strictly liable (i.e., without proof of negligence) for the child’s injury or death.

What if a component part of a product is designed and manufactured by someone other than the entity or entities that designed and manufactured the product as a whole? If, for example, the plastic toast slices included in the recalled toaster sets sold by Toys R Us were manufactured by a different company (B) than the company that manufactured the toaster, itself (A), could the manufacturer of the toaster (A) be held legally responsible for injuries or deaths caused by a defect in the plastic toast slices? Under general product liability law, if the product was under the control of company A before the toast slices were added to the product, both manufacturers A and B could be held liable for injuries or deaths caused by a defect in the toast slices. Others in the line or chain from designer to consumer may be held liable, as well, including the designers, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, and retailers of the product.

What if a parent or other children’s caregiver is negligent in allowing a child to play with a defective product that causes the child’s injury or death? Will the above-referenced defendants be relieved of liability for the child’s injury or death under those circumstances? Though defendants in cases involving only negligence claims may be relieved of liability if the negligence of a “third party” is found to constitute an “intervening cause” of a plaintiff’s injuries, most courts do not apply this rule in actions in which a defendant’s strict liability is established. An injured plaintiff’s own negligence is also generally held not to bar the plaintiff’s recovery in a strict liability action.

According to the Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402A, comment n, the ordinary contributory negligence of an injured person will not relieve strict-liability defendants of strict liability for injuries or deaths caused by a product’s defect. (A plaintiff’s higher level of contributory negligence, commonly known as “assumption of risk,” may provide a defense to a defendant’s strict liability, however.) In addition, Section 488 of the Restatement provides that a child who suffers physical harm is not barred from recovery by the negligence of the child’s parent. This latter rule, according to Section 488, comment c, is especially applicable to cases in which children are so young as to be incapable of exercising reasonable care for their own safety. Thus, a parent’s negligence in allowing a child’s access to a defective toy or other product will not likely be found to defeat the child’s entitlement, in a strict liability action, to damages for injuries caused by the product’s defect.

Obtain Expert Assistance from Child Injury Attorney Jeff Killino

Child injury attorney Jeff Killino is known nationwide for his passionate dedication to achieving justice for children injured by defective toys and children’s products. If your child has been injured or killed as a result of a defective toy or children’s product, our experienced team of child accident and defective products lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve from all those who have caused your child’s injury or death.