It may be difficult to imagine, but defectively manufactured clothing can cause serious injury, and even death, to children.
Most defective clothing cases are connected with one of two problems:
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and other governmental and non-governmental child safety groups are well aware of the hazards of defective clothing. Even so, there are many injuries each year caused by both of these problems, and a manufacturer may be liable for damages from injuries caused by defective children’s clothing.
Initial consultations are provided free of charge and obligation.
Under the Flammable Fabrics Act, which is administered by the CPSC, mandatory standards have been established for the flammability of clothing textiles, vinyl plastic film (used in clothing), carpets and rugs, children’s sleepwear, and mattresses and mattress pads.
The CPSC reports that there were 129 wrongful death fatalities among children and adults from clothing fires in 2004 (the most recent year such data was available). In addition, an estimated 3,947 non-fatal injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms annually from 2003-2005. Among those non-fatal injuries, 25 percent were serious enough to require admission to a hospital, compared to a 5 percent rate for all consumer products.
Even so, it is virtually impossible for every article of clothing sold in this country to be inspected, even though there have been many instances of clothing being recalled by the government because it does not meet these minimal standards.
The problem stretches beyond just injury from clothing catching on fire. Burns from a car or house fire can be more severe if a person’s clothing catches on fire, including deep muscle burns and other extreme bodily damage. The medical issues can be very complex and expensive. Only an attorney with experience in working with catastrophic burn victims can properly evaluate this type of case.
Many kids these days love to wear hooded sweatshirts (hoodies). But recently, a child was strangled to death when the drawstring from his hoodie got caught at the top of a playground slide.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1985 there have been 17 child fatalities and 42 non-fatal serious injuries to children caused by drawstring entanglements on clothing. Drawstrings catching on playground slides caused over one-half of the incidents. Recent U.S. clothing standards prohibit the use of drawstrings in children’s clothing, yet foreign clothing manufacturers continue to produce and import children’s clothing with dangerous drawstrings in hooded sweatshirts and pants, even while facing civil penalties for failing to comply with U.S. clothing regulations.
As a result, 300,000 units of that product, manufactured by Hill Sportswear, Inc., were recalled. However, many retail outlets failed to report sales of these products, including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. After their omission was discovered, they were made to pay a severe civil fine for failing to do so.
These defects are no surprise to either manufacturers or retail stores, but the defective products still seem to be for sale.
The Gilbert Law Group is available to represent families in all fifty states in child fatality cases resulting from dangerous products and conditions and where children have experienced serious bodily injuries, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries from unsafe toys.
Call us at (888) 711-5947if you would like an assessment of your accident claim.
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