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Legal Options When Children Are Hurt by Badly Designed Toys

Children get bumps and scrapes all the time. It’s part of growing up. But sometimes a toy is badly designed or poorly made and causes a more serious injury. Especially when a child is hospitalized for injuries caused by a defective toy, parents will have questions about how the law can help them get compensation for medical bills and other expenses associated with caring for their child.

Nevada imposes substantial liability for defective products

Nevada allows consumers to sue toy manufacturers for a wide range of damages from a product. Plaintiffs can sue for economic damages like medical bills and the lost wages of a parent who must take time off work to care for a child. They can also sue for noneconomic damages like emotional distress. A product’s manufacturer and distributor can be liable for defects arising at every stage of a product’s life, from its design and manufacture to the way it is packaged and labeled. NRS 695E.090.

The elements of strict products liability

Strict products liability is the most important legal theory for plaintiffs who are injured by defective products in Nevada. Strict liability shifts responsibility for defective products to manufacturers and marketers if all of its elements are met. Ginnis v. Mapes Hotel Corp., 86 Nev. 408 (1970). In Nevada a plaintiff must show the following elements to recover under a strict liability theory:

  1. The defendant was the manufacturer or marketer of the product.
  2. The product was defective.
  3. The product’s defect existed when it left the defendant’s possession (for example, when it left the factory or warehouse, and not after an intervening event damaged it).
  4. The defendant used the product in a way that was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant.
  5. The defect caused the plaintiff’s damages.

Nev. J.I. 7.02.

Here’s an example of how these elements might work in a defective toy case. ABC Toy Co. makes a plush bear, which it labels as suitable for children as young as six months. The bear’s ears are attached at ABC’s factory with poorly made thread that loses cohesion when the bear is left in the sun for too long. The plaintiff’s seven-month old child is chewing on the bear’s ear, as children that age often do, and chokes on the ear after it falls off. The child loses consciousness and suffers brain damage. Here’s a case where each of the elements of strict liability are present, and the plaintiff is likely to recover substantial damages.

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has a long and distinguished history of helping personal injury clients recover compensation for injuries caused by defective products. To speak to an attorney, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or contact us through our website.