Dangerous Products in the Home
Trial lawyers are often on the lookout for dangerous products. We are up to date on the latest recalls and companies that have a reputation for making questionable products. When shopping for our families, we often look for the presence or lack of certain safety features that others would not because we have spent years dealing with the damage and trauma dangerous products can cause a family.
Common household items can often pose unknown hazards. Button batteries, commonly used in automobile key fobs, watches, and many toys, have become a recent hazard for small children. Over a 14 year period ending in 2010, approximately 40,000 ER visits resulted from children ingesting batteries, and over half of these cases involved these button batteries. Button batteries pose several serious health issues for children that have resulted in severe injury and death. Choking is a major concern that can happen immediately. Chemical burns to internal organs can also result is serious health issues and can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often do not appear until days after a child has ingested a battery.
Many toy makers now require a screwdriver to enter the battery compartment of their toys. While annoying to parents, this is a protection against small children ingesting batteries that is useful. Some makers of these batteries have ignored the problem, some have begun to warn against the problem, and others have begun to take action to protect children from these now-known dangers. For instance, a recent trip to the drug store revealed a company with a two-fold approach to preventing children from swallowing these button batteries. They place a warning directly on the battery to let parents know of the danger. They also seal the packaging for the batteries so that scissors are needed to open them. This is the proactive approach to preventing known harm that some companies are taking to protect the public. Unfortunately, it can often take years of knowing about a problem and many lawsuits before some companies finally come around to preventing such accidents. For some companies, customer safety is important enough. For others, the threat of money damages from their product harming the public is what is needed to improve product safety.