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Before You Shop: The Top Toy Safety Fails of the Last Decade

 

During the holiday season, we naturally turn our attention to the hottest toys to make our children’s holidays merry and bright. But as we all know, sometimes manufacturers and designers fail to keep their products safe for youngsters, and unfortunately those toys usually get recalled only after children get injured or die as a result of using them. As a point of reminder for parents to stay vigilant, let’s review a few of the biggest news stories about toy safety from the past 10 years.

 

Buckyballs

When Buckyballs first rolled out to American consumers in 2009, they were a science geek’s dream—216 small rare-earth magnets that held together so well that you could shape them into innumerable designs. The problem was they didn’t hold together well enough to keep kids from ingesting a few of them, and when they caused havoc in the intestines, surgery was often required surgery to remove them. In 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission filed suit against Maxfield & Oberton, the company responsible for importing and selling Buckyballs. After a two-year legal battle, the company was forced to recall all their products and issue refunds. By that time, some 1700 children had visited the emergency room.

Ironically, Buckyballs are back on the market thanks to a countersuit filed by Zen Magnets, another company distributing the product. Their caveat: Buckyballs are not toys.

 

Fidget Spinners

A couple of years ago, you almost couldn’t go into a store without seeing these little devices. The so-called “fidget spinner” was hugely popular and hailed as a stress-relieving toy for children. But it wasn’t long before watchdog groups were finding all sorts of problems with them. The U.S. Product Safety Commission issued a warning that some versions of the product presented choking hazards for young children, and the lithium batteries in the light-up versions could burn the esophagus if children tried to swallow them. To make matters worse, the consumer group U.S. PIRG discovered two models of the spinner sold at Target contained unacceptable amounts of lead. After some pushback, Target finally recalled the models. While no mandated recall was ever issued, you’d be hard pressed to find a fidget spinner in stores today.

 

Hoverboards

Another example of an “it” toy gone bad, the hoverboard didn’t really “hover”—it was a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter—but a number of companies made them, and they were all the rage during the holiday season of 2015. But a fatal design flaw in many of these devices caused their batteries to overheat and catch fire, causing injuries and damage—including a house fire that killed a 3-year-old girl. Before long, there was a long list of recalls from manufacturers of defective products. Hoverboards are still on the market today, but they have been banned in quite a few public areas, including many public transportation systems.


 

Hello, I’m Andrew Finkelstein and want to share with you why my firm is different from other injury law firms.  First, we’ve been successfully practicing injury law for over 60 years.  We know what to expect and how to win.  Second, our staff is committed to delivering excellence in a caring, compassionate way.  Excellence means being there for our clients when their world has unexpectedly turned upside down. Excellence means taking care of all the legal filings and insurance issues so our client can focus on their health.  I know firsthand how traumatic the time after a crash can be because my cousin was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his motorcycle on the Taconic Parkway. At Finkelstein & Partners we know actions speak louder than words, and we want to be measured by our actions. We believe that is why our greatest source of new business is from existing and prior clients – the people who see us in action and the people we have helped.  We are proud of our record of success and treat each client like they are a family member.

 

Headquartered in Newburgh, NY, Finkelstein & Partners, LLP has been successfully winning serious injury cases for nearly 60 years. Offices are located throughout New York and New Jersey and services include Personal Injury, Social Security Disability Benefits, Workers' Compensation, Nursing Home Neglect and Veterans Services. The firm's Commit to Quit Distracted Driving program highlights the serious dangers of distracted driving for teen drivers. We care deeply about the work we do and the communities we serve. We encourage our family of employees to devote time and assistance to community projects, because we want to be a part of building better communities. To learn more, visit the firm’s website at lawampm.com or call 1-800-Lawampm / 1-800-529-2676.


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