Business Law Product Labeling and Liability Discussion
Discussion Assignment And Peer Responses
*(Use 250-300 words when doing the Discussion Assignment)
W.A.T.C.H. Toy Analysis
Every year, a nonprofit company out of Boston, Massachusetts, known as World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), Inc. puts out a list of the most hazardous toys. Many people use these lists to ensure that they do not purchase toys for children that could cause harm.
For this discussion, assume you work for W.A.T.C.H., and you have decided that the toy described below is a hazardous toy.
Name of toy: Superduper Squirter and Shooter
Description: This gun looks like the real thing and allows children to learn how to defend themselves at a young age. The gun not only shoots water at a high velocity to scare off your enemies but also can be converted to a spring-powered paintball and chalk dart shooter for tons of fun.
Package Labels and Instructions:
Appropriate for ages six and older.
Safety glasses are provided and should be worn at all times.
Safety glasses may not prevent eye injury.
Do not aim squirter/shooter directly at others.
For outside use.
For your initial response, prepare an explanation of why you have placed this toy on the hazardous toy list.
In addition to describing hazards, you should incorporate course material and terminology related to product liability, such as manufacturing defects, design defects, flawed warnings or lack thereof, or breach of warranties.
- You might want to view a recent W.A.T.C.H. report to see what the organization finds to be hazardous about some toys
- Remember, the goal is to prevent harm, usually to children.
- Here is a link to the W.A.T.C.H. list – http://www.toysafety.org/.
- Post replies to at least two other students that are a minimum of one paragraph.
- In your replies to other students, critique their reasons for placing the toy on the W.A.T.C.H. list and also suggest a legal defense based. on course material that you might use on behalf of the company producing the toy should it be sued when a child is injured by the toy.
Doing more than the minimum will enhance your grade.
All posts are to be substantial, incorporate course concepts and terminology, and relate to the discussion issue.
- You might also want to conduct some independent research to enhance your posts.
- *(Respond to each of the two students. Use 150-200 words when responding to students, Start off with (“hello Name”).
- This toy has been identified as a hazardous toy with a material design defect and flawed warnings.
- Design Defect:
The toy is designed to look real and lacks the blaze orange plug required by US Code § 5001, which regulates the commerce of imitation firearms. (Legal Information Institute, n.d.) Additionally, the toy packaging encourages the conversion of the water gun into a propellant-launching toy without providing necessary instructions or safety warnings.
- Flawed Warnings:
- Packaging lacks sufficient warnings and instructions such as the need for parental supervision, a warning against bodily injury by high-velocity water squirting into the face and eyes or blunt force or impact injuries resulting from the toy’s conversion to a shooter. Additionally, the warning to not aim the toy directly at others is insufficient and should specify people, animals, and property (cars, buildings).
- Because of the design defect and the manufacturers’ failure to comply with the regulations of imitation firearms, they could be found in strict liability for injuries or damages caused by their product (McAdams, pg. 311)
- 15 U.S. Code § 5001 – Penalties for Entering into Commerce of Imitation Firearms. Legal Information Institute. Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/5001.
- McAdams, T. (2021). Law, Business, and Society (13th Edition). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US). https://ecampus.vitalsource.com/books/9781260788914
I have placed the “Superduper Squirter and Shooter” on the hazardous toy list for several reasons. First, this toy shoots water and projectiles which could cause injury to others if the users do not adhere to the proper safety protocols. This toy is targeted at children ages 6 and up, however it requires the use of the provided safety glasses. There is no warning that this product should be used only under the supervision of an adult. Therefore, it may be unreasonable to expect a six year old to be responsible enough to wear the safety glasses. There is also a disclaimer that the safety glasses may not prevent eye injury, thereby the manufacturer is admitting that this is an unsafe toy that they cannot guarantee will not harm a child.
Despite the instructions stating to not aim or shoot directly at others, the product description encourages the opposite behavior. In the product description, it states “allows children to learn how to defend themselves at a young age” which is encouraging chlidren to aim the toy gun and shoot either water or projectiles at other children. The description also states, “The gun not only shoots water at a high velocity to scare off your enemies…” This implies that this toy could be used as a weapon against unsuspecting people, which could cause harm to other.
In the US, consumer law guarantees that products are safe as long as they are used in a reasonable and foreseeable way. Based on the conflicting directions implied in the product description versus what can be found in the instructions the manufacturer should foresee that a young child would shoot this toy at another person. This type of flawed warning, along with the safety glasses warning, are not effective enough in assuring the proper use of the toy.