This case involves an allegedly defective toy stroller. The plaintiff’s sixteen-month-old son was pushing his sister around in the toy stroller in their home. The stroller rolled away from the child and he lost his balance. The stroller then tipped over to the ground as the plaintiff’s son was falling down. As the plaintiff’ son fell, one of the hook-shaped handles of the stroller impaled the child’s right eye. The accident caused irreversible damage to the child’s eye. The plaintiff’s son had to undergo several surgeries in order to remove his damaged eye. The plaintiff’s son later had to have a prosthetic eye put in the place of his real eye.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Is a lightweight toy stroller unreasonably dangerous because it may be prone to tip over and may injure a child while they are playing?
Expert Witness Response
A lightweight toy stroller may be dangerous because the weight distribution of the stroller and its center of gravity may make it likely to tip over, even though a child may only be applying a small amount of force to push the stroller while they are playing. Most toy strollers have two handles, a frame, and wheels. To allow for storage of the stroller, these toys usually have joints that can pivot and can be locked when the stroller is folded up. Very young children may play with these toys and many young children use them when they are just learning to walk. Some very young children use these toys as walkers and as doll strollers. The main danger in the design of many toy strollers is that they are lightweight and may be hard for a child to control because they may go faster than a child can walk. These types of toys have been shown to be prone to rolling away from small children while they are playing because they have a very light weight. This can cause the stroller to tip over when a child is playing with it. When a stroller tips over, it can cause a child to fall backward and hit their head on the floor or can fall onto a child and the parts of the stroller, such as the handles, may hurt the child’s body. The danger in the design of many toy strollers is that they are made of a plastic form and may weigh only 1 pound. The lightweight design of these toy strollers may not give them much stability when a child is pushing it and the stroller may tip over onto a child and injury them.