We use a wide variety of chemicals every day, often without even thinking of the dangers they can pose. When children are nearby, however, we must stop to think about these risks. Many common household items, from cleaning agents to hair-care products, can be highly toxic or even deadly if they are misused. Sadly, small children rarely understand these dangers.
Children’s poison and chemical injuries are often caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product. If your child has suffered a chemical-poisoning injury, contact child chemical poison injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal options.
Common Causes of Childhood Poisonings
Of all the patients treated for poisoning, a full 79% of them are children, and most of those children are under the age of 5. Many of these accidents could have been avoided with proper supervision and well-designed child-proof packaging. Our child poisoning injury lawyers can assist you if your child has been hurt by ingesting
- Prescription Medications
- Bleach and Household Cleaners
- Paints and Varnishes
- Fertilizer and Pesticides
The sad truth is that many small children simply do not understand how dangerous these chemicals are, because they do not fully understand the concepts of injury or death. Poisonous materials in the home must be closely guarded, and children must be monitored at all times when near them. A child poisoning injury lawyer can inform you about the legal issues related to these injuries.
Important Recommendation from the AAP
Though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) once recommended the use of ipecac (an emetic that induces vomiting) after a child had ingested a chemical poison, the AAP now recommends against using it. More recent evidence, according to the AAP, suggests that ipecac is not only ineffective as a remedy but that its use can interfere with the effectiveness of other remedies for poison ingestion.
Legal Liability for Children’s Chemical Poison Injuries
Children’s chemical poisoning injuries often occur as a result of someone’s negligence or a defective product.
Negligence Actions for the Chemical Poisoning of Children
When someone undertakes the responsibility to supervise or provide other care to a child, the individual and, in many cases, the employer of the individual, acquire the duty to perform the job with reasonable care for the child’s health and safety. When a breach of this duty is a cause of injury to the child, the person in whose care the child was entrusted may be found liable for damages in an action for negligence.
If your child was under the care of a babysitter, a daycare center, a children’s camp, or school, for example, and was allowed access to poisonous chemicals, such as cleaners or pesticides, that resulted in your child’s poisoning, the supervisor responsible for your child’s safety as well as the supervisor’s employer may be held liable for your child’s poisoning injury and the costs associated with the injury.
If the supervisor responsible for your child’s injury was a public-school employee, however, the school and its employee may be immune from liability if the law of your state provides for such immunity. This immunity may be complete, so that neither the school nor its employee may be found liable to any extent, or partial, so that they may be found liable but may nevertheless be relieved, for example, from paying damages beyond a certain amount.
Product-liability Actions for the Chemical Poisoning of Children
In some cases, a supervisor’s negligence may combine with the fault of a product’s manufacturer or retailer in causing a child’s chemical poisoning injury. In such a case, actions for negligence against the supervisor and the supervisor’s employer as well as actions for product liability against the manufacturer and others in the product’s chain of distribution may be maintained.
Even when the negligence of a supervisor or other individual or entity has not contributed to the chemical poisoning of a child, the manufacturer of the product that was ingested by the child may be found liable for the child’s injuries in a product-liability action if a defect in the product is determined to have been a cause of the child’s poisoning injuries. This liability may extend not only to the manufacturer of the product but to anyone in the chain of the product’s distribution, such as the seller or distributor of the product.
In chemical poisoning cases, product-liability actions are often brought under failure to warn or defective packaging theories. If a manufacturer or seller of a product that contains a chemical poison fails to provide warnings to the consumer that are adequate to warn the consumer of the product’s poisoning dangers, the product may be determined to have been unreasonably dangerous to the consumer, and therefore defective, as a result of the inadequate warnings. The inadequacy of instructions for safe use may also be considered a defect in a product-liability suit.
In some cases, the defective packaging of a product may be determined in a product-liability action to have rendered the product unreasonably dangerous, and thus defective, for the consumer’s use. If, for example, no (or inadequate) safety features have been included to keep children from opening a container and gaining access to a poison, the product may be determined to be defective in a product-liability suit.
If your child has suffered a poisoning injury due to someone’s negligence or a defective product, contact child chemical poison injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for experienced and knowledgeable assistance with your case.