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Defective and dangerous: Liability on Oregon children’s products

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Firm News

Your parental instinct is to move mountains for your kid’s protection. But even with your best efforts, you still cannot shield them from a toxic environment singlehandedly. They’re constantly exposed to hazardous chemicals found in products they use or play with, and there’s only so much you can do to prevent them from ingesting, swallowing or choking on something.

To combat this dilemma, Oregon’s Toxic-Free Kids Act acknowledges your child’s vulnerability by demanding action and accountability from manufacturers in regulating the products they put out in the market. 

Oregon’s Toxic-Free Kids Act

Passed in 2015 and with revisions in recent years, Oregon’s Toxic-Free Kids Act establishes an extensive list of “high priority chemicals of concern for children’s health (HPCCCH)” used for manufacturers’ compliance. This legislation has the following provisions:

  • Children’s products: This refers to any product made for or marketed to children below 12, which includes car seats, clothing, footwear, jewelry, cosmetics, toys, or anything for feeding, sucking, resting or teething purposes.
  • Reporting requirement: There is a required reporting for any contaminant or product containing HPCCCH that is within or exceeds the practical quantification limit, which is 100 parts per million. Anything below the limit does not require reporting.
  • Manufacturer requirement: If the product with HPCCCH falls under these categories – cosmetics, “mouthable” or intended for the mouth, or designed for children below three – manufacturers can remove the product, substitute it with a less unsafe alternative or sign a waiver approved by the authorities.

More than a minor irritation, your child’s prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals may also lead to tragic illnesses, and in the worst cases, cancer.

Establishing product liability

An Oregon product liability claim necessitates establishing your child’s injury as a result of any of the following:

  • A manufacturing defect
  • A design defect
  • Failure to provide warning signs or labels

While making the product, manufacturers have varying degrees of duty to ensure they have reasonably addressed the potential hazards when your child uses or plays with their product. Also, time is of the essence as you only have two years to file a lawsuit.

For your child’s toxic-free future

Your child will want to play with anything they get their tiny hands on any time they get a chance, even when you’re not looking. Their fragile bodies can only hold so much, which makes them at much higher risk than most adults. You will only regret it if you witness your child’s pain and suffering and not doing something about it. But determining who in the supply chain is accountable may be more than you’ve been prepared for. You might need all the help you can get during these troubling times. A legal team can guide you in seeking compensation for medical bills and other monetary losses.