Parents urged to return popular toy amid safety defect rumours

Date:Dec 12, 2018

Christmas is a season synonymous with happiness, spending time with family and friends and giving presents. However, this time of the year also sees a spike in toy-related injuries.

But what happens if a child is injured as a result of a defect? Do parents have a case for compensation?

Recent toy recall sheds light on product dangers

Parents across the country have been urged to return a popular children's toy to their local Target branch after the product was found to possess a dangerous defect.

A 'sand and water' plastic table has been removed from shelves due to a potential choking hazard. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission identified that a small part of the watering-can nozzle detached from the spout which could easily be ingested by a young user.

Target has announced that parents who return the product will receive a refund.

Are there standards in place for product defects?

In Australia, product safety is governed by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). This emphasises that manufacturers have a duty of care to prevent injury or damage when people use their products.

All products, including toys, have mandatory safety standards. They typically include information relating to:

  • The materials used.
  • How the products are supplied.
  • The skills/qualifications of a person supplying the product.
  • The tests the product must pass.

But what happens if a child becomes injured as a result of a product defect?

Taking steps to compensation

If you believe your child has sustained injuries as a result of a safety defect on a toy, you may be eligible for compensation. 

A court will assess a number of factors, including:

  • Product packaging.
  • Instructions and warnings for assembly and use.
  • How the product was marketed for use.
  • The time when the product was supplied.

However, consumers must be aware that there are also statutory defences to manufacturer liability. These defences are available when the safety defect:

  • Did not exist at the time of supply by the manufacturer.
  • Could not have been discovered at the time the manufacturer supplied the goods because there was insufficient scientific or technical knowledge at that time.
  • Is only attributable to the design of the finished goods or the packaging - nothing associated with the component maker.

If your child is injured due to a defective toy, you have the right to compensation for their medical expenses and other costs related to their injury. Get in touch with the personal injury experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners today to see how we can help with your claim.

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