Product Liability


Confidential Settlement Eye Injury Caused By Children’s Toy, Kitchen Set in Federal Court


PRODUCT LIABILITY SUIT: This is a case against the supplier and seller of toys which are rendered dangerous by their design, lack of age appropriateness or warning.

PARTIES:  Five-year-old child v. Toy distributor for a Chinese manufacturer of the subject toy.

TYPE OF CLAIM:  Product liability claim for dangerously rigid plastic knife for kitchen toy set advertised for 4-6 year old children.  Knife had rigid serrated edge and caused injury to eye. It was claimed that the toy was inappropriate as manufactured for this age group.

DAMAGES:  Torn cornea from plastic play knife, which required surgical repair.  Child had good recovery with minor visual defect and the paid medical expenses were about $5,000.00.

SETTLEMENT:  Structured settlement with future payments.  Present value of settlement is worth nearly $100,000.00.  The greatest share of the settlement went towards an annuity for the future education of the child.  The case settled months prior to trial and after expert discovery was commenced.

COMMENT:  Even though there is significant government regulation of toys, foreign manufacturers and domestic producers can slip dangerous toys into our market.  Please examine your child’s toys regarding safety issues and age appropriateness.

Toys can cause choking, lacerations, punctures, burns and blunt trauma.  Toys must be age appropriate as well.  Warning should be placed on the toy if these warnings are necessary to know for the safe use of the toy, including age appropriateness information.


Mandatory Toy Safety Standard:

Code of Federal Regulations, Commercial Practices 16, Part 1000 to End (16CFR)

Title 15 -Commerce and Foreign Trade Chapter XI – Technology Administration, Department of Commerce Part 1150 – Marking of Toy, Look-alike and Imitation Firearms

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Engineering Test Manual for Rattles

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Engineering Test Manual for Pacifiers

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Labeling Requirements for Art Materials Presenting Chronic Hazards (LHAMA)

U.S. Child Safety Protection Act, Small Parts Hazard Warning Rule and Rules for Reporting Choking Incidents

Age Determination Guidelines: Relating Children’s Ages to Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior (September 2002)

ASTM F963-07 Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety (effective February 2009)

ASTM F963-08 Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety

Voluntary Toy Safety Standard:

ASTM F963-07e1 Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety

ASTM F734-84 (89/94) Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Chests

ASTM F1148-97a Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Home Playground Equipment

ASTM F1313-90 Standard Specification for Volatile N-Nitrosamine Levels in Rubber Nipples on Pacifiers

ANSI Z315.1-1996 American National Standard for Tricycles – Safety Requirements

ANSI/UL 696, Ninth Edition Standard for Safety Electric Toys