The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled about 139,000 vertical and 315,000 horizontal blinds. In 2009, a 2-year-old girl from Commerce Township, Mich. reportedly strangled in the loop of a vertical blind cord that was not attached to the wall or floor. Blind Xpress custom vertical blinds have an adjustment cord that forms a loop and is not attached to the wall or floor. The custom horizontal blinds do not have inner cord stop devices to prevent the inner cords from being pulled out. The hazard is the potential entanglement in a cord loop, with the potential to strangle a child.
The blinds at issue were sold at various blind specialty stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana from January 1995 through December 2011 for between $16 and $380.
The sad reality remains that thousands of children are killed and injured every year as a result of unsafe products in the home environment. The minimal government standards and voluntary industry guidelines do not mandate pre-market testing, and do not do enough to promote safety. Three factors can combine to control the safety of any product: (1) The manufacturer’s concern for product safety; (2) The consumers’ awareness of the product hazards; and (3) The diligence of government officials in providing the impetus to manufacturers to make safer products.
Experienced litigation and trial counsel is necessary to recognize the variety of consumer product hazards that can result in injuries or deaths. Design is the first step in the manufacturing process, when the manufacturer determines what the consumer wants or, in short, “what will sell.” Over the years, a consistent pattern of design hazards in household products has emerged. Examples include:
- Small toy parts that can be ingested, inhaled, or aspirated
- Sharp points and edges that can puncture, cut or bruise
- Flammable fabrics that can ignite in flame or melt to a hot, sticky mass
- Chemicals that can be poisonous if swallowed or explosive if heated
- Strangulation hazards due to long strings, cords, or elastic straps
- Electrical toys using high voltage current
- Projectile toys and “weapons” sold as toys
If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective household product, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the dangerous toys attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.