Parents in Montana worry about their children being hurt in all kinds of ways, but they can usually expect that their children’s toys won’t hurt them. Unfortunately, toys aren’t always safe. Designers, manufacturers and sellers of toys sometimes negligently let potentially harmful products get into the hands of children. Sometimes, this results in tragedy.

Recently, a family prevailed in their product liability lawsuit against a toy manufacturer after their child was seriously injured by decorative beads that were part of a toy.

The family of the infant sued the manufacturer of the children’s toy Aqua Dots in federal court after their child swallowed a number of beads that children are supposed to spray with water to create designs. During the manufacturing process, the beads are coated with a chemical that, when ingested, transforms into a variant of the date rape drug known as GHB.

The toddler suffered permanent brain damage after ingesting a few of the beads. He also suffered a measured loss of his fine motor skills and his sense of smell. The jury sided with the family and awarded them a total of $435,000 of which $58,000 was awarded to cover the family’s accrued medical bills and the remaining $377,000 for pain and suffering.

In their deliberations, the jury found the firm Moose Enterprise entirely culpable because it was responsible for designing and developing the toy and, though the toy was manufactured in China, the Chinese lab that manufactures the toy was vetted and hired by Moose Enterprise.

Even though at least 10 previous cases have been filed against the manufacturer of Aqua Dots, they were all settled out of court, making this case a landmark victory.

Product liability is the theory under which designers, manufacturers and others can be held liable for damages after consumers are injured by defective products. Attorneys with experience in this area of the law can help the injured and their families to understand how the law may apply to their circumstances.

Source: ABC, “Arizona family wins suit involving chemical-coated toys,” Ryan Velzer, June 19, 2015