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IL injury lawyerFor children, little is more exciting than getting a new toy. Unfortunately, children’s toys can lead to serious injuries and even death. The Children’s Safety Network estimates that children suffered over a million toy-related injuries between 2015 and 2018. If your child was injured or killed in an accident involving a defective or dangerous toy, you may be interested in learning about your legal options. In some cases, a product liability claim may hold a negligent toy manufacturer accountable for a child’s injury or death as well as recover financial compensation for damages.

Toy Manufacturers are Held to High Safety Standards

The Consumer Product Safety Act is designed to protect consumers from dangerous or defective products. Product designers, manufacturers, and distributors must ensure that their products do not present an unreasonable risk of injury or death to consumers. When the intended user of a product is a child, the stakes are especially high. Many toys intended for young children must be tested for safety and certified before they reach store shelves. Toys that are most commonly associated with child injuries include:

  • Tricycles, scooters, skateboards, and other riding toys
  • Balls
  • Balloons
  • Toy cars
  • Building sets
  • Stuffed animals
  • Action figures

Do I Have a Claim?

Many toy-related injuries are minor and do not require extensive medical treatment. However, toy-related accidents can also lead to severe injuries including burns, broken bones, choking, strangulation, and poisoning. Tragically, some toy accidents are fatal. It can be hard to know for sure when a child’s injury or death is the fault of a toy designer or manufacturer. Product liability claims often involve one of three types of defects:

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IL injur lawyerAs a parent, you probably spend a considerable amount of time worrying about your child’s safety. You have probably reminded your child to look both ways before crossing the street, buckle up in the car, or wear his or her bike helmet more times than you can even count. Unfortunately, sometimes, the greatest safety issue in a child’s life is within their own home. Defective toys cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year in the United States. If your child was injured because of a faulty or malfunctioning toy, you may have a valid product liability claim.

Liability for Unsafe Toys

The companies that design and manufacture children’s products are held to high standards when it comes to safety. Nevertheless, U.S. emergency rooms treated approximately 226,1000 toy-related injuries in 2018 alone. Tragically, some of these toy-related injuries were fatal. Some of the most common injuries caused by toys include:

  • Airway obstruction
  • Suffocation
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Puncture wounds
  • Contusions and lacerations
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning
  • Battery ingestion
  • Electrocution

Nonmotorized scooters, balls, balloons, toy vehicles, toy weapons, building sets, dolls, and many other types of toys have been associated with child injuries.

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IL injury lawyerMost people assume that items purchased from a retail store or online retailer will work the way they are intended to and will not cause them harm. While this is true for the majority of consumer products, there are times that a defective or malfunctioning product causes a consumer to be injured or even killed. If you were hurt or you have lost a loved one and you suspect that a defective product is to blame, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Product Liability Basics

Products may contain three main types of defects under Illinois product liability law:

  • Design defects: A design defect occurs before a product is manufactured. The inherent design of the product may be flawed in some way that makes the product dangerous – even when it is used as intended. A design defect will be present in an entire line of products.
  • Manufacturing defects: A manufacturing defect occurs when something goes wrong during the manufacture or construction of a product. The defect may only affect some of the products.
  • Inadequate consumer warnings: “Failure to warn” defects stem from a product containing inadequate warnings about potential hazards or insufficient instructions on how to the product safely.

If a defective product leads to someone’s injury or death, the company responsible for the defect may be liable for the harm caused by the defective product.

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IL injury lawyerMost people take prescription or over-the-counter medications from time to time. Whether the medication is for a heart defect, blood pressure problem, skin condition, or another medical concern, you probably trust that the medications you take are safe and effective. Unfortunately, medications with dangerous defects sometimes make their way into consumers’ hands. If you were harmed by a defective drug, you may be left with terrible side effects and insurmountable medical expenses. In some cases, a person who was injured by a defective medication may be entitled to financial compensation.

Drug Defects That May Lead to Product Liability Claims

The United States pharmaceutical industry is worth approximately $482 billion. Although pharmaceutical companies are responsible for countless beneficial and often life-saving medications, there are also times when a medication causes more harm than good. Pharmaceutical companies have a legal duty to ensure that the drugs they manufacture and sell are safe, effective, and meet quality standards. They must also disclose the potential side effects associated with the medication. A medication may be considered defective if it:

  • Was manufactured using the wrong ingredients
  • Contains ingredients of the wrong amounts
  • Poses severe side effects
  • Contains only inactive ingredients

Pharmaceutical companies also have a legal duty to warn consumers of the risks associated with the drug. If a pharmaceutical company knew that the drug carried certain risks and failed to make this information available, it may be liable for any harm caused to consumers of the drug.

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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most people, you have probably used more hand sanitizer in the last few months than you ever did previously. When reports about COVID-19 first started making headlines, stores quickly ran out of bleach, soap, hand sanitizer, and other sanitizing products. Now, most people have the supplies they need but there is a new concern that some hand sanitizers contain toxic ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration has released a list of recalled hand sanitizer products that should not be used. It is very possible that concerns about these defective products will lead to product liability claims.

Product Manufacturers May Have Substituted Methanol for Ethanol

Most hand sanitizers contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol which is the active ingredient that kills bacteria and viruses. However, some hand sanitizers are labeled as containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol but actually contain methanol as well. Methanol, also called wood alcohol, can be very dangerous – especially to children. The substance can have significant harmful effects if it is absorbed through the skin and is often fatal if swallowed. Exposure to methanol can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and damage to the nervous system. In extreme cases, the substance can cause seizures, blindness, and coma. The FDA is worried that these products may be accidentally ingested by children or consumed by adults with addiction problems who are using the product as a substitute for alcohol. If you experience any of the above symptoms after using a product containing methanol, the FDA recommends seeking immediate medical treatment for methanol poisoning.

FDA Warns Consumers to Be Wary of Hand Sanitizers Advertising Unproven Claims

The FDA is also concerned that some hand sanitizer manufacturing companies are making false claims about the effectiveness of their products. The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. If soap and water is not available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol. However, many hand sanitizers do not meet this standard. Consumers should also be suspicious of products that claim to offer extended protection from viruses and bacteria or those that are marketed as “FDA-approved.” The company that manufactures Purell hand sanitizer has already been served with a class-action lawsuit due to allegations that the company exaggerated the effectiveness of its products.

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