A New Jersey mother is suing Toys R Us and a New York toy manufacturer for $80 million, the New York Daily News reported. Shelley Standish-Pociejowski claims her 6-year-old son, Makhi, was badly burned by a Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja wristwatch that she bought him last Easter at a Paramus, New Jersey, Toys R Us.
According to the allegations, the digital watch's battery leaked a corrosive substance, which severely burned the boy. Standish-Pociejowski's lawyer, Jeanette Poyerd-Loiacono, filed the suit in Brooklyn Federal Court.
With headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey, Toys R Us says that it employs 70,000 people globally and "is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need." Toys R Us is privately held by Bain Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vornado Realty Trust, which bought the company in 2005.
The watch's manufacturer, M.Z. Berger, makes watches, clocks, bags and accessories and personal care items, according to the company's website. The company says that it is a family business that employs more than 700 people in "New York City, Bentonville, Toronto, Detroit and Hong Kong and satellite offices across the country," and that it ships more than ten million units a year.
Toys R Us, M.Z. Berger and Standish-Pociejowski's lawyer didn't answer requests for comments.
Update 10/3/2014 12:10PM: Toys R Us sent the following statement: "We are unable to comment on pending litigation. For the information and details you seek, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer directly."
7 Dangerous Recalled Products You Might Have in Your Home
Mom Sues Toys R Us, Firm for $80M, Says Watch Burned Son
These devices keep basements from getting musty and help prevent it getting too clammy in your home on a summer's day. But many of them can cause fires. More than 2.5 million dehumidifiers (all made in China by Gree Electric Applicances) were recalled in 2013 and 2014 because they can start fires: Danby, DéLonghi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire,GE (GE),Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir and SuperClima. Some 500 incidents involving these humidifiers overheating have been reported, including more than 100 that started fires. The humidifiers should not be used. Gree is arranging for refunds ($110 to $400) for anyone who bought one.
This reclined infant seat, designed for babies to sleep in, has been connected to at least six deaths by government investigators. Dozens more incidents also were attributed to the product made by the now-defunct Baby Matters. Consumers who have Nap Nanny products are urged to stop using them. A handful of retailers, including Toys R Us and Amazon.com (AMZN), offered refunds to their customers.
After a recall of hundreds of thousands of chenille robes sold by catalog retailer Blair over concerns about their flammability, the CPSC learned that at least nine women had died wearing robes that had ignited. The recall has been re-announced several times, a tactic typically taken when consumer response has been determined to be sub-par for the hazard.
More than 2 million of these magnetic toys were sold. Dozens of kids required medical treatment after swallowing the balls. The high-powered magnets can twist inside the intestines of anyone who swallows them, posing a risk of death or serious injury. Initially, the company, Maxfield & Oberton, refused to participate in the recall and rebranded the toy for adults. The government sued, and the company has since settled and is offering refunds.
Some recalled products are particularly problematic because they are so durable. Perhaps none have posed such as long-term hazard as the Lane cedar chest. In 1996, Lane recalled 12 million chests, made between 1912 and 1987, after at least a half-dozen children died from suffocation after being trapped inside the chests. More deaths were reported since the recall, including two more this year. Lane offers a free replacement lock that prevents entrapments.