When we buy products, we assume they are safe. However, manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad may rush products to market without adequate testing to ensure they are safe. When those products are not safe, and they injure or kill a loved one, the victim of that wrongdoing deserves justice. Only a well-functioning civil justice system can ensure that the manufacturer is held accountable.
Thousands of people are injured every year by dangerous and defective products that range from batteries to makeup, exercise equipment to children’s toys, automobile tires to prescription drugs. If you have been injured by a defective product, you have the right to hold the corporation who manufactured that product responsible.
Playing with Safety: Dangerous Toys and the Role of America’s Civil Justice System
Unforeseen hazards are still finding their way into toys despite recently improved safety standards, illustrating the need for a strong civil justice system that protects children and holds delinquent manufacturers accountable.
Since 1974, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued more than 850 recalls for toy products, many for hazards like magnets, lead and other dangers hidden in our children’s toys. Between 2004 and 2008, toy-related injuries increased 12 percent, and over the last 10 years, toy-related injuries have increased 54 percent.
The CPSC is woefully under-resourced to cope with the flood of new products entering the U.S. marketplace. Until 2007, the CPSC had only 15 inspectors to monitor all ports in the United States for all products, and only one employee to conduct safety tests on toys.
The result of such corporate wrongdoing and regulatory powerlessness is that dangerous products can be sold on shelves for years before the public has any idea of their hazards. A Public Citizen analysis of consumer recalls found that companies waited an average of 993 days to inform the CPSC of defects, and the agency then waited another 209 days before informing the public.
In the face of such risks, and with so few resources at hand, the nation has come to rely on parents, consumer groups and the civil justice system to serve both as an early warning system and an enforcement mechanism against careless corporations and their dangerous toys.
Source: American Association for Justice (click here for the full report)