$200,000 Offered to Settle Claim
Toys "R" Us, our world's largest dedicated toy retailer, wants all of us to believe that it only sells safe products and that it does not tolerate dangerous or defective products on its shelves. Sadly, a West Virginia woman now knows otherwise. In June of 2008 a 27 year-old mother of three was playing a game of backyard tennis with friends and family members. The players were using steel tennis rackets purchased at Toys "R" Us in Bridgeport, West Virginia, earlier that day.
The fun ended when the steel racket frame separated from the handle of her playing partner's racket. The sharp end of the steel racket frame flew through the air, striking her in the right eye. The injury left her permanently blind in that eye and she continues to suffer from periodic agonizing migraine headaches. Unfortunately, if you purchase toys from Toys "R" Us you and/or your family are also at risk for being injured by one of its products.
It turns out that the tennis racket (like most of its products/toys) sold by Toys "R" Us was manufactured in China. This particular product was purchased by Toys "R" Us directly from China to be sold under the Toys "R" Us logo. When Toys "R" Us was asked to identify which Chinese manufacturer made the product, its representative was unable to identify the manufacturer. Toys "R" Us also indicated that it did not know anything about the quality of the design or manufacturing of the racket and, further, said that it isn't responsible for insuring the standards and quality of the products it purchases from China. Toys "R" Us never tested the racket as a piece of athletic equipment and never tested to determine if the handle was safely secured.
In this case, the handle of this racket (for which Toys "R" Us paid the unknown Chinese manufacturer only about $1.70) was not properly secured to the frame. There was no adhesive whatsoever and the single nail holding the handle to the frame cracked the plastic handle when it was driven in. Because this defect was hidden from view and the design of the racket was never monitored by Toys "R" Us, there was no way or reason for this West Virginia woman to know the dangers of the product purchased from an unknown Chinese toy manufacturer.
Toys "R" Us made a decision - it chose profits over protecting people by failing to take responsibility for the quality of the product it sold. Unfortunately, a West Virginia woman didn't have a choice, instead, she will simply be paying the price for the rest of her life while Toys "R" Us continues to sell cheap Chinese products to unsuspecting customers. Needless to say, Toys "R" Us's offer to settle the injury claim for $200,000 in exchange for taking a young woman's eyesight for the rest of her life was appropriately rejected!!