Toy chain retailer “Toys ‘R’ Us” has been hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit after a horrific accident in which a toddler impaled his eye on a handle of toy stroller.
William Sanner, an electrician, is suing the “Toys ‘R’ Us” on behalf of his son who is also named William, on the grounds that include product liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.
The father alleges the toy store chain failed to include adequate warnings about the multiple, dangerous defects of a stroller made by Graco Children’s Products Inc.
The toddler, William Sanner [Jr.] was 16 months old when the 2008 accident occurred. The child was pushing his older sister’s Graco-brand doll stroller in the family’s New York home when the stroller “rolled out away from him and tipped backward” court papers said.
As a result, the toddler tumbled forward and fell in such a way that “one of the hooked and rigid handles impaled and pierced [his] right eye,” according to the Manhattan federal court lawsuit.
The New York Post reports that after the accident William underwent several surgeries. The toddler’s severely damaged eye was removed and replaced with a prosthetic.
“It’s every mother and father’s fear,” said the family’s lawyer, Eric Dranoff. He added, “Remember when we were all kids and our parents warned, ‘Be careful, you might poke your eye out’?”
Dranoff said Graco Children’s Products Inc., previously reached a confidential settlement with the Sanner family. For reasons not disclosed that arrangement now appears to have broken down and the family are proceeding with the suit.
The key issue in the case revolves around the stroller’s weight and center of gravity.
Court papers state that the $14.99 lightweight stroller “incorporates a center of gravity, weight distribution and wheelbase that makes it easily susceptible to tipping” when less than two pounds of force is applied to the handles.
The lawsuit also makes mention of “Toys ‘R’ Us” core consumer promise that “one of the important parts of our mission as a company is to help parents keep their kids safe.”
On October 20, 2010, Graco Children’s Products Inc., recalled about 2 million strollers that they stopped selling in 2007. The recall announcement stated that four babies had died in the strollers between 2003 and 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission notes.
Although the New York Post reports the amount the Sanner family are suing for is $260 million, a different figure of $65 million is quoted by Law360.com.
A “Toys ‘R’ Us” spokeswoman declined media requests for comment.